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WINTER 2010/2011

Sled Dogs Have Their Day Hastings Hearths - then & now Stirling wrestlers ruled the ring Books to warm winter

COVERING THE ARTS, OUTDOORS, HISTORY, PEOPLE AND PLACES


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Contents VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4, WINTER 2010/2011

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CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR

Nancy Hopkins 613 395-0499 CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR

John Hopkins 613 395-0499 ART DIRECTOR

Jozef VanVeenen CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Anna Sherlock Brandon West • www.westphotography.ca

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Shelley Wildgen HOW TO CONTACT US Telephone: 613 395-0499 Facsimile: 613 395-0903 E-mail: info@countryroadshastings.ca Website: www.countryroadshastings.ca For written enquiries you can reach us at: PenWord Communications Inc. P.O. Box 423, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 COUNTRY ROADS, Discovering Hasting County is published four times a year by PenWord Communications Inc. Copies are distributed to select locations throughout Hastings County including the ­communities of Bancroft, Belleville, Madoc, Marmora, Stirling and Tweed. Copies are also delivered to select homes within southern Ontario. Subscription rates: 1 year: $10.50 2 years: $18.90 3 years: $27.30 All prices include G.S.T. The contents of this publication are ­protected by copyright. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without prior written permission of PenWord Communications Inc. is prohibited. The advertising deadline for the Spring 2011 issue is February 18, 2011.

F E AT U R E S

5 - On the Right Track Holiday Train takes a bite out of hunger

6 - Home fires burning Hastings County’s quest for fire

10 - Gone to the Dogs Hastings a hotbed for winter sport

14 - Booksellers’ best bets Gift ideas for yourself...or others

18 - Lords of the Ring Donnan brothers carved out wrestling reputation D E PA R T M E N T S

4 - Editorial Everything’s a story

17 - Cross Roads Snowmobiling design making tracks

Cover Photo: A winter scene along Ridge Road east of Stirling. © Scott Tysick

22 - Country Calendar Things to see and do in Hastings County

23 - Marketplace Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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discovering hastings county

EDITORIAL

fall In love WIth

Everything’s a story

Comfort Country Photo: Haley Ashford

• Shops • Hiking • Heritage Sites • Accommodations • Sumptuous Dining • Live Entertainment • Antiques • Artist Studios & Tours • Lakes and Rivers to Explore December 3 - 5 • 4-8 pm MADOC

O’Hara Mill Homestead Old Fashioned Christmas

A holiday celebration pioneer style. Music, refreshments

www.comfortcountry.ca

MArMOrA

February 4-6

The 33rd Annual SnoFest A fun filled weekend for everyone. Sled dog races, talent night, food, music.

www.marmorasnofest.ca

stirling

January 28-29 in downtown Stirling!

1st Annual Mill Pond Hockey Tournament

For registration and event details visit

www.stirling-rawdon.com

Brought to you by the Stirling-Rawdon BIA and Stirling Minor Hockey Association.

Dec 2-5 tweeD

7th Annual Festival of Trees - The Gifts of Christmas

A not to be missed event. All proceeds to youth activities in the municipality.

www.twp.tweed.on.ca

DeserOntO

Experience Deseronto’s specialty shops, restaurants & charming accommodations, unique heritage, and many recreational and cultural activities.

TO OTTAWA

www.deseronto.ca

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MADOC 7

MARMORA

tyenDingA tOwnship

Come visit Tyendinaga Township in Hastings County and experience our exceptional agriculture, recreation, and history – or just take a quiet ride in the countryside.

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deseronto

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...and more.

STIRLING 14

TO KINGSTON

401 401

BELLEVILLE

DESERONTO

TO TORONTO TRENTON

For more information on events, attractions, places to dine, accomodations, shopping and more.

www.comfortcountry.ca

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Country Roads • Winter 2010/2011

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There are many people, places, events, and points in history in ­Hastings County that are ­obvious story candidates for COUNTRY ROADS, no brainers I guess you could say. But the sign of a truly talented writer is someone who can take a seemingly ordinary topic and turn it into an ­informative and entertaining read. When contributor Shelley Wildgen proposed the subject of fireplaces as a feature story for the winter issue it lit a bit of a fire under us, pardon the pun. A warm and fuzzy story for the winter issue seemed timely but would it have any meat on its bones? As you will read in our opening feature some painstaking research and a real insight into the subject matter have produced what we feel is a top notch story complimented by the excellent photography of Anna Sherlock. Since we were off to such a good start we decided to ‘run with it’ and bring you the story of sled dog racing in Hastings County. (The puns are really flowing!) Every winter races with substantial cash purses are held in Bancroft, Eldorado and Marmora, and just beyond our borders in Apsley and Haliburton. The Marmora SnoFest event, celebrating its 33rd year, holds the title of the longest continuously running sled dog competition in Canada. If you don’t already know, you will learn that these dog handlers (mushers) and canines are top athletes. They don’t merely show up at a race, hitch up and take off. Read on and you will see what we mean. Another popular winter pastime – snowmobiling - has been the passion of Coe Hill’s Shawn Watling for the past few years. Further to our Fall, 2009 story we caught up with Watling and bring you up to speed on his quest to build a revolutionary new type of snowmobile. There was a time in the 1950’s and Sixties when a Friday or Saturday night spent at the local arena taking in the wrestling was a social staple in small town Ontario. The matches did come with an element of theatrical rivalry but also a great deal of athleticism and technique. There was less pomp and pageantry than today’s wrestling spectacles. The Stirling Donnan brothers took there show on the road wrestling for years in western Canada and the United States. They headlined many events and older brother Doug Donnan wrestled professionally through three decades before retiring from the ring in 1975. Read more about their remarkable careers in this issue. Books are always high on our list for inclusion in our publication. This time we turned to area booksellers and they were kind enough to provide us with their top picks for this season. We’re delighted to say that two choices include local authors. On these pages you’ll also find a piece about the important work being done by Canadian Pacific, The Gleaners Food Bank and residents and businesses of the area in the fight against hunger in our country. Especially timely during the holidays -- The Holiday Train rolls across Canada from Nov. 27 through Dec. 17, lighting up the tracks and warming the hearts of Canadians along the way. So this Winter, when the weather cooperates, venture outdoors and snowmobile, sled dog race, skate, play pond hockey, hike, ski, make snow angels. And when it doesn’t – take refuge indoors, sit by the fire and read a great book! And we’ll see you again in the Spring!


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BY NANCY HOPKINS The CP Holiday Train is a spectacular site each time it pulls into a community across the country. Photo courtesy: Canadian Pacific Railway

On Nov. 7, 1885 the last spike was driven into the rail at ­Craigellachie, BC joining the eastern and western portions of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and uniting the country. For the past12 years the CPR and the Canadian Association of Food Banks and U.S. food collection agencies have been uniting this country in the quest to address hunger in our communities. Every year since 2000 a 1000-foot long Holiday Train ablaze with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights has rolled into Belleville as part of its 20-day, 140-stop cross-country journey to raise donations for food banks and awareness of the issue of hunger in our communities. At 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28 the train whistles will blow as the 2010 Holiday Train arrives at the South Church St. railway crossing, south of Dundas St. East, in Belleville to the excitement of hundreds waiting. “It’s exciting to hear the train’s whistle getting closer as you wait for its arrival. The Christmas lights decorating the train are really charming,” says Belleville resident Lori MacDonald. When the train comes to a stop an old boxcar mid-train opens up and a stage is revealed. For the second year in a row, the outdoor concert features the popular band the Odds. The crowd will also be treated to a visit by Santa Claus, who rides the rails, getting off at each stop to visit with the children. Belleville is unique as very often Mrs. Claus also makes an appearance.

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“The first year we went it was early evening and it had turned dark outside, allowing the Christmas lights to glow beautifully and then it started to snow very gently. The female entertainer began to sing Silent Night and the whole crowd sang softly with her. It was quite a sentimental moment. The Holiday Train can be quite a magical experience for children and the young at heart,” adds MacDonald. Since 1999, the CP Holiday Train program has raised $4.8 million and generated close to 2.3 million pounds of food donations for local food shelves. In the last three years Belleville has collected over 4000 lbs. of food and $1400 in cash donations that go directly to the local Gleaners Food Bank. And each year CP has added its donation of $3000. A true community event, businesses and groups join in the cause. For Susan Quinlan, The Gleaners Food Bank Director of Operations, the Holiday Train is an important fundraiser and the impact lives on long after the train departs. “The most important thing is that it brings Canadians across Canada together to not only bring awareness to the issue of hunger in our great country,” she points out. “It also brings them together as one big Canadian family to help those in need of a helping hand.” The entire event is held outdoors from the stage car, no matter what the weather. If making a trip to the Holiday Train prep by dressing in lots of layers, bringing your food bank donation and perhaps hot chocolate and lawn chairs. Everyone is a kid when it comes to the Holiday Train. Follow its journey online at www.cpr.ca.

TACKLING HUNGER

Gleaners, in addition to being a food bank, is the Tri-County Food Network, with food distribution covering Hastings, Northumberland and Prince Edward counties. Food resources are distributed through the Quinte Regional Food Share Shelter (QRFSS). Services are extensive including eight area Food Banks, eight Meal Programs, 60 School Breakfast Programs, 30 Non-Profit Agencies, five Senior Housing Projects and School & Community Placements. Food Banks are located in Belleville (Gleaners), Loyalist College, Brighton, Deseronto, Madoc, Marmora, Picton, Stirling and Tweed. There are many ways to aid with the fight against hunger in the region. To find out how you can participate visit www.gleanersfoodbank.ca or call 613-962-9043.

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Photo courtesy: The Gleaners Food Bank

Holiday Train takes a bite out of hunger

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Mrs. Claus has been known to make an appearance when the train visits Belleville.

On The Right Track

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Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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BY SHELLEY WILDGEN PHOTOS BY ANNA SHERLOCK

Home fires burning Hastings County’s quest for fire Fire. At our most primal, we craved it for life. At our most advanced, we continue to indulge that craving as we constantly strive to enhance our lives.

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Home fires burning

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ou may enjoy your fire while ­setting up camp at a beach, or as you snooze in front of an ­elegant fireplace at a five star spa/hotel, but no matter how you ­prefer your blazes, the hypnotic ­effect of that dancing flame never fails to ­satisfy the soul. The snap, crackle and pop of a roaring fire have forever been the true harbinger of an ­oncoming Canadian winter. As ­Canadians, we’ve always enjoyed gathering around ­outdoor fires during parties and ­festivals but the ultimate fire ­fascination is found indoors. ­Capturing that flame and storing it in our very homes provides much needed warmth and a certain amount of status. The fire is lit in October and often stays lit till early April. Here in Hastings County, most of our historic homes boast original fireplaces. Over time, some have disappeared with renovations, or still stand but don’t function. But some, like the Rumford fireplace found in the 1802 home of Ross and Marilyn McDougall in Belleville, have not only been around for well over a century but continue to ambitiously pump out a respectable amount of heat. The McDougall fireplace has been meticulously maintained and thoroughly enjoyed over the years. No longer used as the home’s primary heat source, it still warrants a celebratory fire from time to time and when it’s in full flame, produces enough warmth to turn off the furnace. Marilyn McDougall calls their Rumford fireplace a true “showpiece,” asserting that “anyone who loves history and architecture finds this stunning.” Benjamin Thompson, aka Count Rumford of Massachusetts introduced Rumford fireplaces in the late 1700’s and they became well known for their unique design. Thompson found that by making the firebox shallow with reflective angled covings he could maximize the radiant heat output. By rounding the breast and narrowing the throat opening he could arguably minimize the excess air the fireplace required to carry away the smoke. The unusual design remains highly respected and the Rumford business continues to thrive. Most recently, the McDougalls found that Rumford parts are still available, so they had a Rumford fireplace insert installed to bring theirs up to code. They didn’t stop at the interior improvements. After removing some old stucco, the McDougalls carefully replaced missing stonework with stones they found in their dining room walls, thereby preserving the original integrity of their Rumford in its entirety. Another masterful fireplace restoration can be seen at Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleville. The grand old 1883 home was originally owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Phillips. The home was always filled with music and art, and much of that artistic vibe can still be sensed when you enter its doors. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips left Glanmore to their adoptive daughter Jessie Burrows and the

Bill Aylsworth’ has been building fireplaces for over 60 years. He constructed this substantial kitchen fireplace by hand and then the rest of his home north of Madoc.

The Glanmore Billiard Room fireplace is flanked by windows with fitted shutters.

The Glanmore Dining Room table is set for the holidays. Guided and self guided tours are available year round.

final private owner was her daughter Philippa Faulkner. Before she left Glanmore, Philippa sold off pieces of the home and one entire mantelpiece was purchased by a local history buff. As luck or fate would have it, the buyer of the mantelpiece later became a volunteer at Glanmore and generously donated the missing piece, making it possible to return the fireplace to its original glory. Several fireplaces at Glanmore feature blue velvet insets as well as lustrous wood. Museum technician Mac Ellis has painstakingly restored the wood on the Breakfast Room fireplace, which is adorned with blue herons on velvet, thought to have been painted by original resident Harriet Phillips and now reproduced by Glanmore

volunteer Elaine Kemp. Contrasting with today’s standards of sleek hearth beauty, fireplaces of the late Victorian style were characterized by decorative ‘clutter.’ All visible spaces would likely be filled with vases, ceramics and figurines. As attractive as fireplaces are some of them have exceedingly vast interiors, which absorb the heat while not always effectively sealing out the cold. The allure of the flame does not necessarily preserve the heat it produces, so improvements have always been welcomed. Ben Franklin introduced the original North American cast iron fireplace insert in the 1700s, although some historians believe the insert was actually invented about 70 years earlier. Unfortunately, the first attempts were Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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Home fires burning

The fireplace in the McDougall residence in Belleville is one of the area’s most historic. Known as a Rumford and dating back to 1802 the expansive hearth is accompanied by the original bake oven (on the right). The McDougalls removed the stucco front and ­restored the fireplace to its original form.

crafted of cast iron, causing cracks to erupt when fired. The cracks led to smoke and that produced a mess, so the original inventors did not make the history books, but Ben Franklin did. A Franklin stove is a metal-lined fireplace, with baffles in the rear to improve the airflow, providing more heat and less smoke than open fireplaces. Unlike the common closed firebox woodstove the front of a Franklin stove is open, with all the efficiency taking place within, ostensibly providing twice the amount of heat as a normal fireplace for a third of the wood consumed. Ben Franklin’s stove became very well known, eventually replacing the popularity of open fireplaces. To this day, most North American fireplaces

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The Glanmore National Historic Site on Bridge Street East in Belleville boasts seven fireplaces, each one grand and ­ornate in typical Victorian style.

are box-shaped, similar to the Franklin stove. The exception is the aforementioned Rumford fireplace, which is noted for its extremely slim firebox. Franklin never cared about being praised for his achievement, explaining simply, “As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.” While many Hastings County homes were elegantly appointed with beautiful hearths and mantles, there were just as many that relied on basic function even more than form. When fire first entered our homes, using it for cooking was just as necessary as capturing its heating capabili-

ties. When pioneers constructed their fireplaces, the hearth truly was the heart of the home. Dave Little, a builder of stone walls and fireplaces as well as Chairman of the O’Hara Mill Volunteer Association is proud of the restoration work he’s done on the O’Hara Mill fireplace. “Pioneers didn’t focus on ornamentation,” he points out. “They just used the fireplace to cook and eat. Materials were gathered from quarries, using the flat side of the stone against the wall and filling the back with rubble.” Little has left no stone unturned. Whenever he finds an 1800s barn suitable for teardown, he refurbishes the wood for furniture building and uses the limestone foundations for building fireplaces. Madoc native Bill Aylsworth, a former member of the Kingston Symphony, has been building fireplaces for 60 of his 88 years. Aylsworth calls himself a bit of an ‘eccentric’, but given his many talents he might best be described as more of a renaissance man. The secret to a formidable fireplace, according to Aylsworth, is a “…good cement base, that won’t shake, a brick interior because it heats better than stone, and a wide flagstone apron out front.” He now adds a heatilator or motor to pump out even more heat. And Bill likes his fireplaces to be “big… massive,” whenever possible. When asked why, he just smiles, “More room for Santa Claus.” Fireplaces have taken on several shapes over the years and their heat source is as varied as their design. When folks can’t or don’t have a traditional open fireplace, wood stoves remain a popular choice. In the 1970s Fisher brand became widely known as one of the most recognizable names in woodburning airtight stoves. There was even a Fisher plant in Marmora that employed many locals until it closed in the Eighties. But the Fisher woodstoves continue to heat a good number of north Hastings homes. These days we can choose from woodstoves, corn pellet or wood pellet stoves – and if you want


Home fires burning

to know about all of them, talk to Steve Taylor of Authorized Wood Stove and Repairs in Marmora. Taylor believes our basic elemental love of flames is what has kept him in business since 1978. “See fire, want fire.” It’s that simple he says. When the idea of displaying real burning woodstoves in his store first came up, there was some concern that customers may be intimidated by all that fire, even if it was safely contained. The worry was unfounded. Taylor was delighted as customers came in off the street just to be closer to the captivating woodstove flames. Fireplaces have been around for centuries, but Taylor believes that when Jimmy Carter encouraged North Americans to heat with wood during the 1977-78 oil crisis, he reignited our love of all types of fireplaces. Then, as now, we wanted to replace our need for oil. More alternatives have come into play since that time. Although pellet stoves have been around for about 22 years, it wasn’t until clean burning and toxic emissions became a concern about 10 years ago that we took a second look. Compressed sawdust pellet stoves became more popular, boasting no greenhouse effect and no waste product. Wood and wood by products have always enticed consumers, who are comforted by the warmth, smell and sight of a wood fire on a cold Ontario night. And now with oil prices hitting $84 a barrel, that comfort has again become an affordable solution. It’s no wonder Taylor is busier than ever. The U.S.-based Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) has had a huge influence on fireplace manufacturers in the last 15 years, with forced cleaner emissions being its number one priority. Kate Firstbrook of Fireplace Specialties in Belleville and Cobourg has seen many changes during her career. “Masonry structures used to be built on-site with poured footings and thick walls for heat retention,” she explains. “Now they’re factory built, zero clearance fireboxes that have pre-fab stainless steel chimneys with zero clearance fram-

The traditional wood stove is given a modern look with its stainless steel finishing.

Maryann and Steve Taylor are experts on today’s fireplace options. Their Marmora store features wood stoves, pellet stoves, fireplaces and the ubiquitous cookstove.

Photo by Nancy Hopkins

Photo by Nancy Hopkins

ing and drywall, featuring cultured stone, tile or marble mantles.” Quite a leap from the pioneering structures of our forefathers. As for what’s ahead, Firstbrook states that we can look forward to a future of “biomass burning – which is efficient burning equipment fashioned with augers, blowers and circuit boards working together to produce heat through various burning materials.” Recent advancements in the heating industry have indicated that in addition to burning wood and corn, we can look forward to burning with wheat, cherry pits, and recycled matter….oh my! There are a good number of people who only wish to burn wood, but according to Firstbrook

the ‘hearth industry’ now sees 80 percent of buyers turning to gas, either through propane or direct vent natural gas. Oil stoves can also provide that much adored visual flame. And, of course, we’ve all seen instant seasonal coziness available in our local hardware stores, thanks to the growing advances made by electric fireplaces. Now, virtually everyone can enjoy some form of fireplace in their home. Whether you’re a wood fireplace purist, a Victorian ambient enthusiast, or you just really enjoy the notion of warming your toes by the nearest fireplace available, one thing is certain…somewhere in every home, in one form or another - a fire is burning.

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Gone to the dogs

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BY JOHN HOPKINS

Hastings a hotbed for winter sport When Stirling area resident Shawn Shaw’s grandmother died she left him a gift and a message. The gift was a soapstone carving of a sled dog team. The message was more significant. “She knew I was an outdoors person, and she said I should do what I wanted to do, not what I was told,” Shaw remembers. “Now I’m sitting here with 16 good sled dogs.” Each winter, through January and February, the 37-year-old Shaw follows his passion of sled dog racing across Ontario and the northern United States. A trip to Marmora to see the annual SnoFest sled dog races piqued his curiosity and then he made a critical mistake – he got a dog. “It always starts with one dog,” he laughs. “Then you can’t help yourself. You’ve got four then eight, and it just goes on from there.” Hastings County is home to three major sled dog racing events that have become winter traditions in the area. This season the action kicks off with the Eldorado Gold Cup on Jan. 22, followed by the aforementioned Marmora SnoFest races Feb. 3-5 and competition in Bancroft Feb. 19. All three events are part of the Ontario Federation of Sledding Sports Triple Crown series. Marmora SnoFest is the oldest of the three, now entering its 33rd year, and it has the distinction (bottom left) A competitor tackles the course at Marmora SnoFest. A sled dog tradition for over 30 years, the event is one of Canada’s most well known.

The Eldorado Gold Cup has been running for 15 years. The 50-mile course can take around four hours for the top racers to complete. Photo courtesy Eldorado Gold Cup

Photo by Hogan Courrier

(below) Sled dogs require tremendous attention and devoted care. Training starts as early as September for the winter race season. Photo by Hogan Courrier

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The Eldorado Gold Cup takes racers on a 50-mile circuit north from Madoc. This is Ken Golton of L’Amable, one of the area’s top mushers. Photo courtesy Eldorado Gold Cup

of being the oldest continuous series of races in Canada according to organizer Richard Lowery. The sport of sled dog racing has strong Canadian roots and even today in remote parts of the country dog sleds can be the only practical form of winter transportation. The biggest race in the sport, the Iditarod, is staged each March in Alaska. Launched in 1973, it is a grueling 1,150-mile grind that starts in Anchorage and runs northwest to Nome, taking 10 to 17 days to complete. Events are popular through Maine and Vermont, and Shaw will travel out to Minnesota in January to assist a competitor in a 400-mile race. The races in Eldorado, Marmora and Bancroft aren’t quite that daunting. Eldorado and Bancroft will run 50-mile races, Bancroft will also stage a 20-miler, and the longest on Marmora’s card is 30 miles. SnoFest will also have shorter sprint races of six, four and two miles. But even so this is not a sport for the faint of heart, or wallet. Last year’s Eldorado Gold Cup was won by Rene Marchildon in three hours and 34 minutes and the course took him and his eight-dog team north from the Madoc Township Hall to Sarafin Road, north of Gilmour,

and back. His reward was the winner’s trophy, donated by Holburn Farm and a portion of the $3,000 purse. Competitors like Shaw try to fit full time jobs and family life around training, feeding and caring for their dog teams. While the actual racing season may run for just two months, training begins in the fall and, of course, the dogs are a year-round concern. “I work 60 hours a week,” Shaw explains. “I’m home at 5:30 each night and I go straight to looking after the dogs. If I rush through things I may finally set foot in the house at about 7:30. And I’m off to work each morning at 5:00. “I wish I could do more. The guys who do well in this sport have the time; they’re self-employed or single.” And keeping a team of sled dogs healthy and happy does not come cheap. Shane Cox, another local racer who now is also involved in officiating at events, estimates he will spend $5,000 each year on kibble for his 16 dogs. “I wouldn’t want to know what I’ve spent over the past 14 years,” he admits. Like Shaw, Cox got the racing bug after seeing the races in Marmora, where he was helping out a competitor.

The Little Nipper class gives kids as young as four a chance to experience dog sled racing. Photo courtesy Shawn Shaw

“He gave me a couple of dogs and it just grew from there,” Cox says. Training of the dogs can’t begin until the fall, when temperatures drop below 10 degrees Celsius. Initially the dogs will be taken on short runs pulling an ATV. “You have to build up the muscle and have the dogs lose some weight,” Cox explains. “I like to get 25 miles in behind the ATV before I hitch them up to the sled.”

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Gone to the dogs

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Country Roads • Winter 2010/2011

Thirty-seven-year-old Shawn Shaw caught the racing bug after seeing the Marmora event. Despite the cost and work involved, he’s a devoted competitor.

Shane Cox has done just about everything in the sport in Hastings, from racing to officiating at events like Marmora SnoFest.

Photo courtesy Shawn Shaw

Photo courtesy Eldorado Gold Cup

The breed most commonly used for racing is the Alaskan Husky, which is built more for speed than the Siberian Husky. The Siberians tend to be a little slower in outright pace but possess good endurance. But while having the dogs in peak physical condition is important for racing, their psychological well being can also be a factor. “The dogs feed off you,” Cox points out, “so if you get bored, they’ll get bored.” Handling the dogs with care is critical to maximizing their performance, Shaw says. “There are certain things you do to make a dog team run,” he explains. “But I’ve never done anything bad to a dog. If you treat them terribly, they won’t run for you.” The sleds themselves are generally made from white ash and weigh around 20 lbs., although racers are required to carry a bag of supplies in case of an emergency, and this pushes the overall weight up to around 25 lbs. A good sled can cost upwards of $500. The sleds run on plastic runners and a racer has a choice of runners to use for different snow, much like a skier will use different wax depending on conditions. The races in Hastings County will draw competitors from a broad area, including Ontario, Quebec and the northern United States. And the sport has found a following in some unusual locales as well. In 2008 a crew from Australia participated in SnoFest and a Jamaican squad is expected to make its second appearance in Marmora this winter. “They train with some dogs down there and translated that training to dogs up here,” explains Lowery, whose family billeted the Jamaicans when

they took part last season. “They do well, although they’re geared more to the sprint races.” Dog sled racing is challenging for the competitors, but it can take its toll on organizers as well. Although the timing of the events is geared to take full advantage of winter weather, lack of snow is a constant fear for those putting on the events. “It’s really all in the hands of Mother Nature,” admits Sandra Hannah, who has spent the past 15 years putting on the Eldorado Gold Cup. “Ideally you’d like one or two feet on the ground, although 8-10 inches is OK.” Hannah got her introduction to the sport when she volunteered for the inaugural Eldorado event and a year later she took on the role of chairperson. She also helps stage the Bancroft races along with Ken Golton and Allan Moorcroft. While the human and animal element of the sport remains its key the magic of technology has found its way into other aspects of dog sled racing. According to Lowery, Marmora SnoFest was a pioneer in the use of electronic timing and five years ago the Gold Cup moved from the use of stop watches to GPS timing. The GPS system was also introduced to Bancroft last year. One of the unique aspects of the sport is that both men and women compete on an equal footing, and Shaw believes that women mushers possess some key advantages over their male rivals. “One thing I’ve always said is I think women make better drivers,” he says. “They don’t show their nerves to the dogs, but with guys, when things are going badly we’ll get frustrated.”


Gone to the dogs

Therapy Design Architecture

Shane Cox’s niece Chloe samples the Little Nipper action. Dog sled racing can turn into a family affair. Photo courtesy Shane Cox

Ken Golton’s son Jake got his start in the Little Nippers class but was racing with the top dogs by the time he was in his early teens. Photo courtesy Eldorado Gold Cup

Susan Butcher, who died of Leukemia in 2006, was a four-time winner of the Iditarod. Age isn’t much of a barrier to competition either and sled dog racing can turn into a true family affair. This is especially the case since the addition of the Little Nippers class, where youngsters are pulled behind a single dog, usually on an enclosed oval course. Shaw has seen both his son and stepson compete and Cox’s nieces raced with the Little Nippers when they were four years old. Another family with a long history in the sport in Hastings County is the Golton clan from L’Amable. Ken Golton races and helps organize the Bancroft event while his sons Jake and Eli both started out in the Little Nippers. By the time he was 13 Jake graduated to regular sled dog competition and in one of his first appearances in the Eldorado Gold Cup, in 2006, he placed second. Last year three Goltons cracked the top 10 in the Gold Cup, with Eli fourth, Jake fifth and Ken ninth. Eldorado, Marmora and Bancroft will all feature Little Nipper classes this season. Indeed, while the sport might be a strain in terms of lifestyle and finances, for competitors like Shaw and Cox the payoff is significant in other ways. “It’s nice being out there on the trail with them [the dogs],” Cox explains. “Sometimes you can go quite a way and not see anybody else. It’s a real rush being out on the sled.” Shaw takes particular pride in having his team well trained by the start of the year. “I prefer hanging around 14 dogs than 14 people,” Shaw says. “I seem to work better with dogs, dealing with the different personalities. When you’ve had a bad day at work, or money problems, and you come home there’s something about a dog greeting you by saying, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’” That connection and co-operation between man and animal is one of the defining elements of the sport, and something that helped turn Lowery into a fan. “I fell in love with the rapport between the mushers and the dogs,” he explains. “There is a reliance on the dog as soon as you put your foot into position.”

Want to see more?

Here’s where area sled dog races will be held this winter: Jan. 22 - Eldorado Gold Cup 8 Dog, 50 miles, 1 day Little Nippers Contact Sandra Hannah, e-mail: shannah@meyers.ca or phone: 613-967-2781

Feb. 3-5 - Marmora SnoFest

8 dog 30 mile (run both days separate races) 4 dog 4 miles 2 day 6 dog 6 miles 2 day skijoring 2 dog 2 miles novice weight pull and Little Nippers Contact Shane Cox, email: dogsledder10@hotmail.com or phone: 613-472-3571 Web link: www.marmorasnofest.ca

Feb. 19 - Bancroft Think Snow! 8 dog, 50 mile 6 dog, 20 mile Kid and Mutt Contact Christine Hattin, email: christine@solidcs.com Ken Golton, phone: 613-332-1166

March 5 - Apsley

4 dog 4 mile 6 dog 6 mile Novice 2 mile 1 or 2 dog ski-jor, Contact Jim Cunningham, email: cedarpaw@eagle.ca or phone: 905-349-3465

Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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Booksellers’ best bets Gift ideas for yourself…or others

Nothing helps while away those long, frosty winter nights like a good book, and who better to recommend some winter reading than the people who actually sell them? With that in mind Country Roads approached three local retailers – Greenley’s in Belleville, and West Wings and Hearts To God in Stirling – to get their take on what they consider to be real page turners this season. These selections cover a wide range of tastes and topics, so there should be something for everyone. Maybe there’s an idea here for a Christmas gift, or perhaps it’s something you would prefer to enjoy yourself. Either way, these selections should help you take your mind off shoveling or ice and snow for at least a few hours and get you through the chilly months to come.

Greenley’s Bookstore (Belleville) An Irish Country Courtship By Patrick Taylor Tom Doherty Associates $29.99

One Bird’s Choice By Iain Reid Anansi Press $29.95

The Distant Hours By Kate Morton Atria Books $29.99

An Irish Country Courtship is the fourth in Taylor’s series of books about life in the Ulster village of Ballybucklebo, Ireland as seen through the eyes of a family doctor and his assistant. Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly acquaints newly graduated medical student Barry Laverty with the intricacies of country medicine as well as administering it to the eccentric inhabitants. Now both doctors add romance to the mix and the results may alter their lives drastically. Heartwarming and entertaining, the cast of characters with their authentic expressions, draw you in and make you feel like part of the community. As with the previous novels, the glossary and Mrs. Kinkaid’s recipes are at the back of the book.

Twenty-seven-yearold Iain Reid was living in a bug-infested basement apartment in Toronto when he landed a job in Ottawa. The trouble was, there was no time to find a place to stay, and the job was only part-time. The solution? Moving back home with Mom and Dad. One Bird’s Choice is the heartwarming and often hilarious tale of Iain’s year-long stay on his parents’ farm. Packed with quirky, lovable, and odd characters, there’s never a dull moment. Yet Reid’s book is also a reflection on bridging the generation gap, life after graduation, and coming into one’s own. A perfect Christmas gift. Submitted by Steph VanderMeulen

Another unforgettable tale weaving together history and mystery from the bestselling author of The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, Morton once again enthralls readers with her atmospheric storytelling. A long lost letter sends Edie Burchill to Milderhurst Castle, on a quest to unravel her mother’s past. Inside the decaying castle, inhabited by the Blythe sisters and where her mother was billeted 50 years before during WWII, Edie uncovers long buried secrets and learns far more than she expected. We think this is her best novel to date. A great book to ward off the chill of winter!

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Booksellers’ best bets Bury Your Dead By Louise Penny Sphere $24.99 Louise Penny has outdone herself with the sixth book in the Inspector Gamache series. Combining contemporary murder with the history of Champlain and Quebec City, she takes us on a powerful journey filled with the twists and turns that mystery readers love. It is bitterly cold in the walled city when a body turns up in the library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. The death opens the door to a centuries old mystery that Gamache must try to solve if he is to catch the present-day killer. This is Louise Penny’s most suspenseful book to date, and one of the best mystery novels of the year.

Hearts To God Christian Books and Gifts (Stirling) The Choice By Suzanne Woods Fisher Revell $8.99 Everything was going perfectly for Carrie Weaver. She was planning on running away with Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Solomon Riehl, leaving the Amish community where they grew up. But in an instant everything changed and Carrie was staring into a future as broken as her heart, leaving her faced with a choice. Interest in the Amish culture is growing and this book gives some insight into the Amish way of life, giving it a fresh perspective and simplicity. Author Suzanne Woods Fisher has firsthand experience of the topic. Her grandfather W. D. Benedict was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin, Penn. and she is the author of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom For A Complicated Life.

Choosing To See By Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn Revell $15.50 Mary Beth Chapman writes about her life as the wife of an award-winning singer and songwriter and the busy life with a houseful of children. She also writes about a difficult loss that she never could have imagined. Chapman addresses some of life’s biggest questions: Where is God when things fall apart? Why does God allow terrible things to happen? How can I survive hard times? This book shows that wherever we find ourselves, even in the hard times, there is hope if we choose to see. Chapman’s coauthor Ellen Vaughn is a number one New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker. Chapman’s husband, Steven Curtis Chapman provides a foreword

Her Daughter’s Dream By Francine Rivers Tyndale House Publishers $27.99 The second and final book in the Marta’s Legacy series this book deals with four generations of the women in the Arundel family, tracing their struggles and successes from the 1950s to the present day. Carolyn Arundel has a difficult childhood, and while in college a tragedy causes her to cut all ties with her family. She later returns home with her daughter Mary Flower Dawn, who becomes central to rebuilding the bridge between the women in the family. Francine Rivers has been writing for over 30 years and her accolades include the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion and induction into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.

66 Love Letters By Dr. Larry Crabb Thomas Nelson $16.50 Described as “a conversation with God that invites you into His story,” 66 Love Letters will change the way you look at the Bible and your own life. Dr. Crabbe treats the Bible as a love letter from God, and each of the 66 chapters covers a different book of the Bible, starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation. The chapters are short but packed with meaning, giving the reader plenty to think about. The book teaches that even though life may not be going according to our plan, God has a much better plan than we can imagine. Dr. Crabbe is a well known psychologist, seminar speaker, Bible teacher and author whose books include Inside Out, Finding God, SoulTalk and Real Church.

West Wings Books (Stirling) Gold Diggers By Charlotte Gray HarperCollins $34.99 Canadian history is always popular with the clientele of West Wings, which should guarantee Gold Diggers finds a receptive audience. Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s pre-eminent biographers and historians and in her newest release she takes readers back to Bonanza Creek in 1896 and the heyday of the Yukon Gold Rush. The book puts to rest the myths and clichés of the gold rush to tell a story that nevertheless remains extraordinary and compelling. Fans of Canadian history and the rich tales of adventure from this country’s past will no doubt enjoy settling in with this book. Gray has won many awards for her books, including the Pierre Berton Award for a body of historical writing, and she is a Member of the Order of Canada. Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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Booksellers’ best bets Room By Emma Donoghue HarperCollins $29.99

More Cape Breton Stories By Jess Bond Epic Press $16.95

An inventive and poignant story about a mother’s love for her son, Room is a novel that has attracted a great deal of buzz, including being short listed for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. The room in the title is an 11x11-foot space that is home to five-year-old Jack but has been a prison to his Ma since she was 19. Young Jack plays the role of narrator, which some readers may find annoying. But the compelling story makes it easy to forget that issue, and this is a book that once started is hard to put down, making it a fast read. Born in Dublin but now living in London, Ont., Emma Donoghue has written contemporary and historical fiction, literary history and plays for stage and radio.

Due to be launched at West Wings on Dec. 4, More Cape Breton Stories is Jess Bond’s fifth collection of short stories. A longtime Stirling resident who now lives in nearby Campbellford, Bond has always enjoyed a loyal following in the area, and for good reason. Originally from Cape Breton, Bond’s stories draw from her Nova Scotia heritage and explore the relationships between people and their own relationship with the unique Island itself. The stories cover a wide range of experiences and will certainly appeal to longtime fans of Bond’s previous work as well as new enthusiasts. With its release just in time for the holidays, More Cape Breton Stories would make an ideal gift for any avid reader of Canadian fiction.

When You Stand Alone Stand Tall By Gale Canniff Cole Epic Press $22.95

An intriguing book that has drawn considerable interest since its release, When You Stand Alone Stand Tall is another selection with a local angle. The book is a memoir of Gale Canniff Cole, who grew up in a rural, isolated area of Hastings County. Cole intertwines her own experiences with those of the dis women she has come across in 30 years of working in the Violence Against Women sector, producing a captivating tale of overcoming challenges and enjoying a happy, full and positive life. Cole presents each experience in an honest and insightful manner, with courage emerging as the discovering common thread throughout the book. This is an intriguing and revealing look at a sometimes uncomfortable topic.

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Country Roads • Winter 2010/2011

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• cross roads • Snowmobile design making tracks Shawn Watling’s innovative snowmobile design has now found mainstream recognition in addition to its positive industry reviews. Photo courtesy RND Innovators

Shawn Watling is a man on the move, in more ways than one. The Coe Hill native has seen interest in his revolutionary RAD snowmobile technology skyrocket in the year since he was first profiled in the Fall, 2009 issue of Country Roads magazine. Watling’s snowmobile design was selected one of the 10 “Most Ingenious Garage Inventions” in the June, 2010 edition of New York-based Popular Science magazine. He took his technology onto the race course, working with some competitors in SnoCross competition last winter. And he continues to have OEMs showing an interest in his product. As if that wasn’t enough, Watling is also making some major career moves. He recently bought an 8,000 square foot building and property in Warsaw, near Peterborough, which will serve as a showroom, production facility and home for the 35-year-old. When Country Roads profiled Watling last year he was just starting to gain recognition for his RAD (Rear Axle Drive) Technology, a design concept that puts more of the sled’s track in contact with the ground and helps improve cornering, stopping and fuel mileage. While Watling was getting noticed in the snowmobile industry, he got a major mainstream breakthrough with the recognition from Popular Science. “That has helped me get to a higher level and I think have people take me more seriously,” he explained. “I went through several people at the magazine and showed them the test results from American Snowmobiler magazine. The day after the article came out I think I had 45 emails!” And while the SnoCross experience proved useful, Watling plans to expand on the racing aspect of his technology this winter. In addition to continuing with the SnoCross, where he has been hired to help with engineering and development on the OTSFF Polaris team, Watling also plans to run a Polaris sled with his technology in major ice oval races. The team will compete in the famed World Championships in Eagle River, Wis. in late January, as well as major events in Valcourt, Que. and Eganville.

He has also applied his RAD system to a Ski-doo Rev XR snowmobile, a four-stroke, 1200cc machine capable of 500 horsepower and will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for a quarter-mile run on an asphalt drag strip in the spring. The current record stands at 7.6 seconds at 178 miles per hour. The biggest development, however, has been the acquisition of the property in Warsaw.

“I can finally bring everything under one roof,” he said. “Up until now I’ve had machines in a garage in one place, and had to test somewhere else. Now I’ll have everything in one spot, and I’ve got trails right outside my door that I can use for testing.” The new space is also key to the next stage in Watling’s plan, which is to build his own snowmobile from the ground up rather than adapt his RAD system to work on an existing product. He feels this will allow him to showcase the technology better, since he won’t have to make compromises to make the system work with another manufacturer’s model. “I’ll be manufacturing a drag sled and an ice oval sled,” he said. “I’m going to try and make a living out of this.” The building in Warsaw that will serve as his new base is a 130-year-old structure that was originally a cheese factory and more recently was the home of the Warsaw Legion. It consists of two storeys, each about 4,000 square feet. While Watling said he hasn’t made any revolutionary developments with his RAD Technology he has continued to refine the system, and a number of improvements will be spotlighted on the oval track racer and asphalt drag sled.

To follow Watling’s progress and see the latest video of his designs, go to www.rndinnovators.com.

your backyard just got bigger. Visit our new website to explore our Adventure, Wellness and Getaway Packages. There is something here for everyone!

www.thetrail.ca

For maps, permits and further information call 613.478.1444 Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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of the ring

Donnan brothers carved out wrestling reputation BY JOHN HOPKINS • PHOTOS COURTESY THE DONNAN FAMILY

(above) Doug Donnan’s combination of athleticism and size helped him rise to the top of the wrestling profession in the 1950s. In this photo he looks set for a painful landing… (left ) Doug was a headline act through much of the U.S. during his career. (top left) Doug and Ronald were a highly regarded tag team threat in the Northwestern United States during the 1950s, often wrestling under the name ‘Donovan’ rather than ‘Donnan’.

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Lords of the ring

T

o millions of wrestling fans he was Karl Von Brauner, one half of the formidable Von Brauner tag team that rose to fame in the 1960s. To ­thousands more he was Doug ­Donovan, who with his ­younger brother Ronald terrorized the wrestling scene in the 1950s. But to the Donnan siblings Jack, Ruth and Norma, he was their big brother Doug, who had left the family farm in Stirling in his mid-teens to seek his fortune out west. Doug made his way to Edmonton where he became acquainted with wrestling guru Stu Hart. When his brother Ronald arrived in Alberta Doug got him involved in the sport and the two travelled together through much of the U.S. That was followed by Doug’s reincarnation as Karl Von Brauner and tag team superstardom before he retired in 1975. Professional wrestling may not have been high on Doug Donnan’s list of career options growing up in Stirling, but there is no question he had the build and the demeanour for it. He participated in amateur boxing in Belleville and was a keen weightlifter. “He was known for being tough, he was known to scrap,” recalls Jack Donnan, who was eight years old when Doug left home for good. “Survival instinct is what Doug lived on. He’s one guy I’d never want to cross.” Doug’s sister Norma Darrah recalls an infamous hockey incident in Marmora. “Tommy Cousins was the referee and Doug finally got so fed up with him he finally just picked him up and dropped him over the boards and said, ‘now you just stay there.’” Ironically, given his reputation as a tough and uncompromising individual, it was a physical weakness that forced Doug to move away from the farm. He suffered from asthma and there was no way he would be able to grow into the family business. Doug found work as a telephone lineman in the Edmonton area in the late 1940s and continued his weightlifting. He also played junior football and practiced occasionally with the Eskimos professional football team. His life took a decisive turn, however, when he met up with noted wrestler Hart, who suggested Doug give the sport a try. “Doug met Hart through a gym in Edmonton and he started training under him,” Jack remembers. “Hart was one tough son of a gun.” Doug started wrestling out west under the name Donovan, which was more recognizable than Donnan. When Ronald, two years younger, was posted out west with the RCAF he joined Doug in the wrestling ring. “Ronald was quite slight but he was athletic,” Jack says. “I remember Doug had said how quick Ronald was, and that was when wrestling had some

Doug found his way into wrestling through his ­relationship with the legendary Stu Hart, who he met after moving to Edmonton.

technique to it. They wrestled individually for a while and then teamed up as the Donovan Brothers.” The brothers wrestled in something of a golden age for the sport, far removed from the show business spectacle that professional wrestling represents to a younger generation. The Donovans (who were sometimes listed in programs as Donnan) would meet up with such foes as Pepper Gomez from Los Angeles, Mexican Rito Romero, and Apache Craig from Albuquerque. Ronald picked up the handle ‘Irish Red’ Donovan, and a 1955 newspaper article from Helena, MT publicizes his bout with Thor Hagen, the “blond Adonis of the ring.” The Donnans spent most of their early years in the Pacific Northwest, where Ronald’s smaller size was considered less of a disadvantage, although they also found their way into Ontario, where they came to the attention of Barry Penhale, a noted wrestling commentator who worked for the Ontario Northland Wrestling circuit, based out of North Bay, in the 1950s. “Doug was like a smaller version of Hulk Hogan,” Penhale recalls. “He looked good in the ring and he could move well. “Doug and Red came onto the scene at an interesting time. I don’t know if it was the heyday of the sport, but it was extremely big after the Second World War. The wrestlers were always characters but there was still a tremendous amount of reality to it. There was a lot more to wrestling than people think. You had to know the moves and Doug and Red could exchange holds with the best of them. You had to be the ‘Real McCoy’ to be successful in that era.”

Although not as big as Doug, Ronald (left) also enjoyed success in the ring, sometimes as ‘Irish Red’ Donovan.

Circuits like Ontario Northland staged wrestling cards in specific territories throughout North America and drew thousands of spectators to regular bouts. Penhale recalls 12,000 fans pouring into Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens one night to

Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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Lords of the ring In the 1960s Doug became famous as one half of the Von Brauner tag team, managed by ‘Gentleman’ Saul Weingeroff.

In the 1950s professional wrestling was at the height of its popularity, with colourful characters doing battle in cities and towns across North America. While showmanship was part of the game, technique and skill were still critical.

see German wrestler Hans Herman, this despite a transit strike that gridlocked the city. Longtime wrestling journalist Greg Oliver, in a tribute to Doug, recalled one of the Donovans’ most famous bouts. It took place in Albany, OR in 1956, but it was memorable for rather unusual reasons. Doug was wrestling when he felt a sharp pain and instinctively kicked, hitting a 73-year-old woman. She sued Doug for $75,000 but a two-inch pin was produced near her seat. “This woman walked halfway around the ring and she turned and jabbed my brother in the leg,” quotes Oliver from an interview Ronald did with Ring Around The Northwest newsletter. “His instinctive reactions were to turn and he brought up his foot and Lord, she cleared out four or five rows of chairs.”

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Assaults from spectators aside, professional wrestling was a tough way to make a living in those days. “They probably wrestled four or five nights a week,” says Jack, whose brothers’ kept him up to date on their progress in the early days through regular packages of programs, photos and newspaper clippings. “I think they travelled 80,000 miles one year. They had to cover 300400 miles of territory and I don’t think they flew too much. Ronald was wrestling when his twins were born and they must have lived in every State. “But when Doug came home, after two weeks he’d go stir crazy. It was the life he knew and

he was good at it. He had success and he liked the celebrity. They never got rich at it but Doug probably eventually made a decent living.” Jack Donnan and his sisters agree that Ronald didn’t have quite the same passion for the sport. “I think Ronald was good at it too,” Jack points out, “but Doug was very strong-willed and Ronald was more laid back.” The sport may have had its serious side, and life was often tough on the road, but Doug also developed a reputation as a prankster with a good sense of humour. “The villains used to park their car away from the arena because sometimes the fans could get pretty passionate and do some damage,” Jack explains. “Well, on one occasion Doug was walking in and pointed at the hero’s car parked nearby and said to the crowd, ‘I don’t want anything to happen to my car.’ You can guess what happened next.” The brothers went their separate ways in 1960, when Doug teamed up with Jimmy Brawner, a wrestler from Tennessee whose parents were German, to create the Von Brauners tag team. Doug was Karl and Brawner took the name Kurt. The pair looked like identical twins, helping solidify their image, and they became the notorious villains of the professional wrestling tag team scene, complete with their manager ‘Gentleman’ Saul Weingeroff. Red made a brief appearance in the act, taking over from Brawner as Eric Von Brauner in 1965. Before the end of the sixties, however, Ronald retired from the sport for good and Willi Kurt Rutkowsky was brought in as a new Kurt Von Brauner. Interestingly, Rutkowsky was a native German who was in a Nazi internment camp during World War II. After the war he built himself back up and became a noted wrestler in Europe. Rutkowsky and Doug wrestled as the Von Brauners until 1974, when the team disbanded,


Lords of the ring the mid-1960s. “But he loved it. He’d rather fly than eat.” After stepping out of the wrestling ring Doug took up crop dusting in California, and was lucky to survive a crash in September, 1977 that left him badly burned. “He was in amazing physical and mental shape,” recalls Ruth Munro, Doug’s other sister. “The doctors and nurses couldn’t believe how quickly he recovered from the crash. They were talking about him getting out of the hospital in months and he was out in weeks.” Jack points out that Doug’s physical strength was complimented by a mental fortitude as well.

Ruth Munro (l), Jack Donnan and Norma Darrah still live in the Stirling area and have fond memories of their wrestling brothers.

although before they were finished Doug Donnan had legally changed his name to Karl Von Brauner. Doug had a brief but successful turn as one half of a tag team known as The Internationals before he retired in 1975. In one of his final bouts he went up against Andre The Giant, one of a new breed of professional wrestling superstars emerging at the time. Life didn’t get dull for the Donnan brothers after they retired from the ring. Ronald took up a job with the Memphis Fire Department in the late 1960s and stayed there for 35 years. He was with the department through a period of dramatic social upheaval in the southern United States, which included race riots and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April, 1968. Now 77, Ronald lives in Georgia. Doug also moved well away from the wrestling scene. In the 1960s he had taken up flying and soon developed a passion for aerobatics. “I don’t know what led him to fly,” admits Jack, who spent some time in the air with his big brother while visiting him in Nashville in

“Doug had a real belief in mind over matter,” he says. “He was into hypnosis and things like that. I always thought that if he had had an education Doug really could have done anything.” Doug finally retired from crop dusting when he was nearing 70, and a few years later he suffered a stroke. He died on July 5, 2009 at the age of 78 and he was buried in Luke’s Cemetery at West Huntingdon, just east of the family farm. Between the time he headed out west as a freshfaced 16-year-old and his death over 60 years later Doug made numerous visits back to the family farm in Stirling. And on those occasions his asthma never seemed to bother him…

New pub brings an old-world tradition to Madoc! Step through our doors and enter into another time. Our newly-renovated old building with a patio overlooking Deer Creek will charm even the most discerning of tastes. Enjoy one of our freshly cooked meals and wash it down with an ice-cold beer on tap – we have nine to choose from! Our menu has a wide variety too. From the traditional: Fish & Chips (made with real Atlantic Cod) and homemade fries, Cottage Pie and Liver & Onions, to a more eclectic fare like Chicken Panini sandwiches with roasted red peppers, elegant salads and freshly made soups - it’s all good. You’ll find us at: 40 St. Lawrence St. W., Madoc, Ontario p: 613.473.1800 f: 613.473.1801 Check out our menu at www.barleypub.ca Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

Winter 2010/2011 • Country Roads

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• country calendar • Things to see and do in Hastings County

EVENTS

To submit your event listing email info@countryroadshastings.ca or call us at 613 395-0499. ART GALLERIES/EXHIBITIONS Art Gallery of Bancroft, 10 Flint Avenue, Bancroft, 613-332-1542 www.agb.weebly.com Dec 1 - Jan 2 - Juried Photography ­Exhibition Opening Reception December 3. Sponsored by Photo Plus 1 Hour Photo & York River Company Jan 6 - 31 - 2 in the Gallery Cheryl Ellenberger (painter) and ­Andrew Edgar (sculptor) Opening Reception January 8. Sponsored by Guitar Nuts Music Shop & Zihua Clothing Boutique Feb 3 – 28 - “So You Think You Can Draw” Works by Students in Grades 6, 7, and 8. Opening Reception February 5- In memory of Harriet Dalley March 3 – 28 - The Michal Manson ­Memorial Student Art Show 4 Area High Schools participating. Opening Reception March 5 - Sponsored by Don ­Koppin Construction Gallery ArtPlus, 54 North Front St. Belleville, ON. K8P 3B3 613-961-1977 ext. 246 , info@galleryartplus.com Dec 2 – Jan 8 - North of Seven Featuring the work of four Bancroft artists: Sarah Brown, Laurie Calder, Andrew Edgar and Heather Inwood-Montrose. Opening reception December 9. Jan 13 – 22 - Local artist/ ­painting ­instructor Jesus Estevez will be ­exhibiting his students work. Opening ­reception January 13th 6– 8pm. John M. Parrott Art Gallery, Belleville Public Library, 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, 613-9686731, ext. 2240, www.bellevillelibrary.com Nov 6 - Dec 17 - Group of Twelve Canada’s Newest Art Group. A new group of high realism painters from across the country - Alan Bateman, Nova Scotia; Bert Liverance, Ontario; Cheryl Battistelli, Ontario; Denis Mayer Jr., British Columbia; Pauline Bradshaw, Ontario; Danielle Richard, Quebec; Doug Comeau, Ontario; Zoran Rnjak, Ontario; David N. Kitler, Alberta; Melissa Schatzmann, Ontario; Gabriel Krekk, Ontario; Nigel Shaw, Ontario. Join us Nov 6th from 11 - 5 to meet the artists. Jan 2-31 - Gallery 1 -Paul Kelly - Life Drawings

Jan 2-31 - Gallery 2 - Northumberland Potters Association Open Studio Tuesdays -second Tuesday of each month from 10 am to 1 p.m., beginners and professionals come together to create, share and learn in this unstructured and casual atmosphere. Tweed Heritage Centre Art Gallery 40 Victoria St., Tweed. 613-478-3989. Dec – Art Show and Sale

THEATRE/LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Bancroft Village Playhouse, 613-332-5918 www.bancroftvillageplayhouse.ca Dec 4 & 5 – North Hastings Community Choir Christmas Concert Tickets $15 available at Posies, Harvest Moon, Just Wine & Beer, Bancroft. Belleville Theatre Guild, 613-967-1442 www.bellevilletheatreguild.ca Dec 2 – 18 - A Child’s Christmas In Wales Based on the story by Dylan Thomas. Set in Wales, it is the musical story of Christmas day itself, from its quiet, magical beginning full of thrilling expectations through to the evening when the boy Dylan creeps up to bed, filled with the joy of a perfect day. NonSubscriber Tickets: $18.00 Feb 3 – 19 - Doubt, A Parable By John Patrick Shanley. Doubt is a powerful and tightly-written play that won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony award in 2005. When Sister Aloysius, a school principal, suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with a male student, she takes things into her own hands. Her pursuit of the truth not only puts her in conflict with the priest, but also the boy’s teacher - a young, idealistic nun - and the boy’s mother, struggling to get her child out of a poverty-stricken environment. Non-Subscriber Tickets: $18.00 Quinte Film Alternative, P.O. Box 22172, Bellevile,www.quintefilmalternative.ca or call 613-391-4310 Dec. 13 -Winter’s Bone An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Directed by Debra Granik.

G O R D O N C . J O H N S T O N LT D.

JOHNSTON’S PHARMACY & Gift Shoppe

SINCE 1929

• Kodak Kiosk • Gifts • Lotto • Jewellery 36 Durham St. S., Madoc 613.473.4112 Toll Free 1.877.881.0683

Quinte Symphony, concerts at Bridge Street United Church, Belleville. www.quintesymphony.com Tickets: Quinte Arts Council, 36 Bridge Street East, Belleville 613-962-1232, Bruinix Jewellers, 73-B Dundas Street East, Trenton 613-392-5997, Countytix at Books & Company, 289 Main Street, Picton 613-471-1991 For info/ tickets 613-962-0050 Dec 12 - 2:30 pm - A Christmas ­Celebration Conductor, Gordon Craig; Guest Artists The Belleville Choral Society & Katie Hinchliffe, Soprano/Winner of Quinte Symphony’s 2010 Young Musicians Competition sponsored by The John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation. Feb 13 - 2:30 pm - Affairs of the Harp Conductor – Gordon Craig; Guest Artist Sharlene Wallace, Orchestral Harp The Regent Theatre, 224 Main St., Picton, Ontario, 613-476-8416, ext. 28 or 877-411-4761 www.theregenttheatre.org Dec 4 -8 pm - A Christmas Special Presented by Toronto All-Star Big Band. Fashioned in the tradition of the classic “Christmas Show”of yesteryear, TABB presents “A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL”and swings into the festive season with some sensational big band tunes. Tickets $39.50 Dec 10 – 8 pm - James Cotton and His Chicago Blues Band Presented by Zapp Productions. Grammy Award Winner, Blues Icon ... “Among the greats of all time. He blazes on harp with remarkable and briliant virtuosity.”Rolling Stones. “The greatest living harmonica player.”... The New York Daily News The Stirling Festival Theatre, West Front St., Stirling 613-395-2100 1-877-312-1162 www.stirlingfestivaltheatre.com Nov 19 - Dec 31- Hansel & Gretel Our laugh-a-minute pandemonium packed pantomime guaranteed to tickle the funny bone! Bring the whole family for two hours of music, mirth and merriment! A great way to introduce kids to the wonders of live theatre. Also an “Adults Only”version, the same silly humour with a distinctly grownup flavour!

Nov 27 - to Jan 2 Christmas Fantasy of Lights Fraser Park Trenton and Frankford Tourist Park. Tour these magical waterfront light displays while listening to favourite holiday carols. Info 613 392-2841 or 1-866-485-2841 Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, -6:30 pm Glanmore by Gaslight We’ve recreated the look of gaslight for these popular guided evening tours at Glanmore National Historic Site, located at 257 Bridge Street East, Belleville. The historic house is beautifully decorated for Christmas. Traditional holiday refreshments will be served. A special appearance by Father Christmas himself. Tickets: Adults $10.00, Children $5.00. Reservations are a must! Spaces are limited and these evenings sell out quickly. Call 613- 962-2329 to register. Dec 2 – 5 The 7th Annual Tweed Festival of Trees Tweed Hungerford Agricultural Building, 617 Louisa St, Tweed. Raffle Tickets available. Purchase a ‘sculpted gold gift’ornament in name of a loved one to be placed on the large Tribute Tree . Sponsored by the Tweed Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi. All proceeds to youth activities in the municipality. www.twp.tweed.on.ca Tickets: Adults $4, Seniors/Students $2, Family $10 / Weekend pass Adults $10 Seniors/Students $5 Dec 3 – 5, 4–8 pm Christmas at O’Hara Mill The volunteers of O’Hara Mill are hosting an Old Fashioned Christmas Family Get-Together in the O’Hara Log House on the Homestead, located at 638 Mill Road, Madoc. Contact: Dave Little 613967-2466 or oharachair@ohara-mill.org

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Decd i7s c–o 19 2010 v er– i nEvergreen g h a s t i n g s Memories c ou n t y -National Air Force Museum of Canada The Trenton Military Family Resource Centre invites you to celebrate the season at an exhibit Country of 15 Christmas trees decorated by local busiRoads ness and service groups. These beautiful trees represent a holiday salute to our Canadian ountry CForces and will be on display free of charge to Roads the public at the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton. Local artists and musicians will be donating their time to entertain those who drop by. This year’s theme is “The Gift of Giving”in recognition of the ultimate gifts of support and protection. “The Peace Tree” ountry Clove, willoads stand above the rest as a reminder of the R and dedication of our veterans, past, sacrifices present and future. Trees on display & open to the public; Mon & Tues: 5:30 - 8:30pm, Wed,

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Tis the Season! Kelly’s Flowers & Gifts Flowers for all occasions! Over 15 years experience Local & worldwide delivery 613 473-1891 43 Durham Street S. in Madoc or order online at www.kellysflowers.net

Country Treasures 47 Durham St., Madoc 613.473.9022

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Country Roads • Winter 2010/2011

Thurs, Friday: 10am – 5pm, 6-8:30pm, Sat & Sun: 10am – 5pm Dec 11, 10am - 4H Club Christmas Nativity Scene Downtown Stirling- Covered bridge. 4H fundraiser featuring live animals, narration, choir and actors in downtown Stirling! Enjoy carriage rides, fresh baking from the Farmers Market and get your photo taken with Santa. Info 613395-3341. Dec 11, 5 pm 7th Annual Brighten The Night Christmas Parade & Kids Party in Maynooth. All day events including a crafts market, dog shows and church sales. 613-338-2862. www.maynooth.on.ca Jan 20, 7pm - Trenton Horticultural ­Society and Garden Club Pie Social Grace United Church, 85 Dundas St. E.,Trenton, Ontario. Club meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of month, at 7pm (Except Dec, July & Aug) Refreshments & Raffles. Guests Free. Contact: Joan 613-392-2572 barry.m@sympatico.ca Jan 22 Eldorado Gold Cup Sled Dog Races Contact: Sandra Hannah shannah@meyers.ca 613 967-2781 Jan 28 & 29 1st Annual Mill Pond Hockey Tournament Downtown Stirling Mill Pond (off Mill Street/ East Front Street) Info: Mary-Louise Belanger, 613-395-2929, Dave Brandt, 613-395-1482 Feb 4 – 6 – 33rd Annual Marmora Snofest A fun filled weekend for everyone. Sled dog races, talent night, music, food. www.marmorasnofest.ca Feb 17, 7pm - Trenton Horticultural Society & Garden Club Garden Renos Slide Show. Grace United Church, 85 Dundas St. E.,Trenton, Ontario. Club meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of mor onth, at 7pm (Except Dec, July & Aug) Refreshments & Raffles. Guests Free. Contact: Joan 613-392-2572 barry.m@sympatico.ca Feb 19 – Bancroft Sled Dog Races Contact: Christine Hattin, Christine@solidcs.com or Ken Holton 613 332-1166 April 7-17 - Fiddler on the Roof in Maynooth. “An amateur production with professional standards”, 8 performances over two weekends at the new Town Hall will raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. $22 & $12 tickets (Adults & Seniors/Kids). Info 613-338-2862

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37 Durham St., P.O.B. 629, Madoc, Ont. Phone/Fax: 613-473-2368

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