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Sutton & Jackson’s Point 1891-2016

125 PROUD


The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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EscapE to our spa or patio Join us for a meal on our Fountain Court Patio or in Drinkwaters Lounge with views of the gardens and Lake. Savour a casual meal or a cool cocktail.

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Congratulations on 125th anniversary on behalf of Metroland Media

W

hy do we celebrate the anniversary of a town? It is a way to honour our past. As we mark the 125th anniversary of Sutton and Jackson’s Point, we reflect on the foresight, courage and determination of the men and women who were the first to make this area their home. It is also a way to take stock of our present. We have much to take pride in and enjoy: a natural landscape defined by Lake Simcoe and accessible to all through walking paths, hiking and biking trails and parks; thriving businesses; recreational opportunities ranging from organized youth sports to some of the best golf in the province; and a community that continues to come together — whether to support those in need or just enjoy one another’s company. And finally, it is a way to look to our future. A milestone gives us the chance to imagine how we want our community to grow, how we will keep the best of our past, while embracing new opportunities and what part we can play in building that future. It is for past, present and future that we

celebrate the anniversary of a community. We at the Georgina Advocate, York Region Media Group and Metroland Media are proud of our long connection with the community and I take great pride in being able to pass along my congratulations on the 125th anniversary of Sutton and Jackson’s Point. There are several exciting events planned to celebrate the milestone, including the Saturday night Party & Dance and Sunday’s Family Fun Day Extravaganza, and I urge you to take part in as many of them as you can. Organizers have spent countless hours planning celebrations that will educate and entertain participants of all ages. All of those hours of work will be evident in the final product. Whether you’ve lived here all of your life or are returning for a visit, this celebration is for you. Take some time to learn something new about the area and re-acquaint yourself with this amazing community we call home. But, most importantly, enjoy yourself and enjoy all of the things that make our community so special. Shaun Sauve Regional General Manager

Sutton & Jackson’s Point 125 Proud orG Ge

ina Pioneer Villa Ge

Publisher Dana Robbins

Regional General Manager Shaun Sauve

Editor-In-Chief Lee Ann Waterman

Editor Jim Mason

Director of Advertising Dir Maureen Christie Maur Chr

Advertising Manag ger Amanda Smug ug

Editorial Contributors Contrib

Heidi Riedner • Melissa Mot Mott Georgina Geor gina Pioneer Villa Village & Archives James ames Phillips • Joel oel Foote • Peter Brady

Saturday, SePtember 17 Admission by Donation

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Susie Kockersc ersc scheidt heidt Georgina gina Pioneer Villag ge & Archives Ar hives

s Sutton & Jackson’s Point on their 125th Anniversary! We at the Georgina Advocate are very proud to be part of this great community and look forward to the next 125 years!


O

n behalf of the council of the Town of Georgina, I am very pleased to join everyone in celebrating the l25th anniversary of Sutton and Jackson’s Point. To think back to what these parts of our community were like 125 ago compared to the way they are today is astounding. The first settlers to this area established a grist and saw mill on the Black River, whereas today we have a regional pumping station there. Jackson’s Point was used as a wharf facility for schooners and today is a harbour for recreational boating enthusiasts. The first council meeting was held in the Village of Sutton in January 1891 and I can only imagine what items were discussed. We have seen so many innovations and inventions over the years, it’s hard to imagine what life must have been like for the original settlers to this area. I sincerely look forward to celebrating our forefathers for their fortitude in establishing these parts of our community and their accomplishments over the years, which have brought us to come to enjoy the life we have here today.

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| The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mayor looks forward to celebrating 125 years of Sutton and Jackson’s Point

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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Settlement of Sutton and Jackson’s Point goes back By Heidi Riedner

hriedner@yrmg.com

Supplied image/ Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

James O’Brien Bourchier established the milling operations, a general store and a post office in what was then known as Bourchier’s Mills, but was later renamed Sutton. According to local lore, the change stemmed from a wager over cards.

Though the name Bourchier’s Mills didn’t survive a wager over cards in favour of Sutton, according to local lore, Sutton and Jackson’s Point owe their existence to the brothers Bourchier. The settlement of Sutton and Jackson’s Point began in 1818 when 1,200 acres of land was granted to 27-yearold William Bourchier. After an unsuccessful first attempt petitioning the Government of Upper Canada for land in the province, due to “administrative technicalities”, Commander Bourchier of the Royal Navy was granted permission to proceed to Canada as a settler in 1818. It was actually November 1819 when Bourchier, along with another young retired naval officer and a millwright, trek through ground that is thick with pine trees, tamarack, fir and spruce, as well as frost, wind-fallen trees and brush. Winding their way around a cedar and hemlock swamp, always mindful to keep the river in their sights to the left, the trio is in search of an ideal spot to construct a mill, explains Melissa Matt of the Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives.

“That river is the Black River and, in 25 years, it will be described as taking its name from the colour of its water. Between two bends in its dark waters is a slight fall and the millwright determines this to be an ideal spot to construct a mill. Within a dozen or so years, the site boasts a grist and saw mill. In 25 years, a woollen mill,” says Matt, adding that site, between the two bends in the river, became the Village of Sutton. William didn’t stay long, however, selling the majority of his lands to his brother and departing for Europe in 1822. It was James O’Brien Bourchier who established the milling operations, a general store and post office in the town, known then as Bourchier’s Mills. Within three decades, James had subdivided his property and sold village lots for residences and businesses in the bustling village that, by the 1850s, boasted churches, schools, taverns, a tannery, woolen mill, blacksmith, shoemakers, doctors, bakers, tailors, butchers and other merchants and tradesmen necessary for the Upper Canadian settler. The population in 1857 was 100 people.

According to Matt, local lore suggests the name of Bourchier’s Mills was changed to Sutton after a game of cards between friends James and Major William Kingdom Rains, who also bought James’ original land holdings in 1830. The “infamous” major — who was living with two women at the time, who were sisters, and who were both his wives — also liked to wager over cards and did so on numerous occasions. One wager in particular involved renaming Bourchier’s Mills to Sutton (after Sutton Lodge, a home on an estate in Wales, attributed to the Rains family) should James lose. Apparently, Rains won the game and James honoured his bet. James died in 1872 at the age of 75 and is said to have been honoured by the York Pioneers with the lowering of the flag at St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto. His obituary reads (in part): “He came to this country in the year 1818 when everything was a wilderness, and to his determined energy and perseverance this village owes its rise.” See page 5.

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From page 4.

In 1877, the train arrived at Sutton and later to Jackson’s Point, which owes its name to anti-government crusader, author and father-in-law to Bourchier — John Mills Jackson. In 1830, he bought the harbour and property at the tip of the point. A vital wharfage for settlers since the beginning, Jackson’s Point employed labourers from neighbouring communities in the summertime at a large sawmill operation and during the winter at the large ice companies that transported the highly sought-after commodity to Toronto and beyond via railway, packed in sawdust. Steamships, which had been on the lake since 1832, began taking excursionists on tours with dinner and dancing aboard. These early tourists approached area farmers, asking permission to pitch tents and camp with their families. After a few summers, this family tradition became more permanent as farmers saw the potential revenue that could be derived from

selling portions of their farms as small lake-front cottage lots, Matt explains. Camping turned to cottaging and, by the early 1880s, Jackson’s Point had earned its present moniker of “Ontario’s First Cottage Country”.

By 1890, the population of the communities of Sutton and Jackson’s Point had risen to 900. By the end of the 19th century, the Point was a thriving tourist mecca, complete with hotels, restaurants, massive picnic grounds, cottages and dance halls thanks to an impressive “public transit” system that brought people in droves via boat, train and trolley. By 1890, the population of the communities of Sutton and Jackson’s Point had risen to 900. In that year, the ratepayers of the Village of Sutton applied to County Council to be incorporated. In June 1890, the council of the County of York passed a bylaw incor-

porating the Village of Sutton. Elections took place that winter and the first council of the Incorporated Village of Sutton met in January 1891. Early diarists of the area make little mention of their First Nations neighbours. Little is available from the period prior to 1830, though in 1820, diarist William Johnson writes of his journey into a neighbouring township with William Bourchier: “Went with Captn Bourchier to look at the Township of Thora — an excellent situation about the mouth of the second river from the Township of Brock. Slept in an Indian Wigwam.” Though he may have not been aware of its significance at the time, Johnson was at the Scugog Carrying Place. The lands at the mouths of the Beaver and Talbot Rivers were used as spring fishing camps of the Chippewas of Lake Simcoe. Early diarists, including Jackson’s Point settler Thomas Mossington, note purchasing fish from the area’s first inhabitants; most often in February.

Supplied image/ Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

Major William Kingdom Rains was the victor in an apparent wager that saw Bourchier’s Mills renamed after Sutton Lodge in Wales.

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| The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

to 1,200-acre land grant to William Bourchier in 1818

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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Sibbald legacy lives on in modern Sutton and Jackson’s Point By Heidi Riedner

hriedner@yrmg.com

The Sibbald family’s roots in Jackson’s Point stretch back to 1835, ever since Susan Sibbald visited Upper Canada to check on her sons, “who were living above a tavern” in Orillia. Falling in love with Lake Simcoe and the property of William Kingdom Rains, Sibbald bought the land and renamed the house Eildon Hall for her ancestral home. Subscriptions by friends and family in England, principally those of Susan, raised the necessary funds to erect the first church serving the area’s inhabitants in 1839. The Sibbald family has owned land in the area from the lake right up to Sutton from today’s Dalton Road to the Black River, as well as the estate property, up until 1955, which is now Sibbald Point Provincial Park. From some of the earliest industries — “resorts”, churches, patronage of the arts and environmental stewardship — the Sibbald legacy is everywhere. The iconic Briars Resort is synonymous with the Sibbalds, but it was the original manor built by first settler William Bourchier in 1840. In 1878, Dr. Frank Sibbald bought The Briars from Laura Bourchier for £800, turning it into a successful farming operation for many years.

For more than a century, Hedge Road (which takes its name from the hedges that Dr. Sibbald planted along his property in the early 1880s) was a dirt trail known as Briars Road. Dr. Sibbald gave the trail to the town in 1880 and, after John Sibbald contributed property in the mid-1950s to make up the road allowance, the road was named Hedge Road. From camping and cottaging to a worldclass golf course and resort that opened year-round in 1977, the Briars property has been through many evolutions, as well as acted as one of Georgina’s largest employers. That includes the Sutton Dairy and Creamery, run by Jack Sibbald out of the property backing on to Dalton Road, which produced the first pasteurized milk north of Toronto. Jack also became an agent for Imperial Oil, delivering gas and oil by horse and wagon. A haven for famous authors, such as Mazo de la Roche and Peter Gzowski, home to what would become the famous Red Barn Theatre and site of community activities such as cricket and baseball matches and garden parties in the early 1900s that attracted thousands, the property is also home to two heritage buildings, including the manor house and Ontario’s only existing octagonal peacock house.

Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

The residence and outbuildings of the Briars property are pictured in this illustration.

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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Georgina works to face future, preserve past BY HEIDI RIEDNER

hriedner@yrmg.com

With Georgina’s population expected to hit 70,000 by 2031, according to provincial growth forecasts, things could look a lot different during the next 50-year span. Growth and development in Sutton and Jackson’s Point, which could see the area increase by an additional 1,700 people over that time span, will be guided by the town’s secondary plans for each of the areas. Much of that development includes subdivisions already mapped for serviced areas off of Baseline, Black River and Catering roads, with smaller townhouse developments slated for Jackson’s Point. Complete, integrated communities, however, that include a variety of housing types, plenty of parkland and greenspace, recreational and social services and upgraded public works and roads infrastructure is the ultimate goal, according to the town’s planning department. A number of departmental master plans, as well as the town’s

long-term financial, economic development and asset management strategies approved this year highlight tourism, agri-tourism, small business and waterfront development as key areas of focus moving forward. Federal grants and public/private partnerships will upgrade a number of facilities in the next couple of years, including The Link and De La Salle Park, as well as potential fixes for the Mossington Bridge and Black River itself. The Link on Dalton Road will act as a community hub for both areas moving forward, with millions of dollars being invested in both its interior and exterior spaces. Already home to a number of social service agencies, such as the Georgina Community Food Pantry and Georgina Hospice, future plans include GTTI, Ontario Water Centre/Clear Water Farm and Georgina Arts Centre & Gallery programming for the facility. Development of the Jackson’s Point harbour is linked to completion of a Ramada Inn, as well as potential plans for York Regional Police’s marine headquarters.

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With its 19th and 20th century buildings, the plan is to retain the character of historic High Street while promoting economic development and exploring opportunities to include parks, open spaces and access to the Black River. Planning proposals for residential development east and west of the downtown core include houses, apartment buildings and townhouses. Part of the challenge moving forward will be balancing the pressures for more homes and services while retaining the individual character and small-town atmosphere that draws people to the areas in the first place. The town’s various advisory committees, including heritage and a new waterways advisory committee, as well as the BIAs for both Sutton and Jackson’s Point, will be instrumental in not only shaping how the communities will expand and grow during the next five decades, but also how they will each retain their individual characters and unique histories in the face of change.

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Sutton Fair & Horse Show has been drawing crowds since at least 1855 BY HEIDI RIEDNER

hriedner@yrmg.com

Sutton is not just a one-trick pony. As a matter of fact, it was a renowned “horse town”, with pure-bred stallions bought and sold from area farms. It makes sense, then, that the horse has always been a big part of any affair in Sutton — even more central when it comes to one particular fair with long roots in the area. From its humble beginnings as a one-day event in 1855 to its current four-day actionpacked schedule, The Sutton Fair & Horse Show is one of the longest-running fairs in the province — marking its 161st running from Aug. 4 to 7 of this year. The first reference to a fair in Georgina Township can be found in 1832, when William Johnson records in his diary: “Foggy weather. Georgina Fair Day.” [Oct 1 1832]. Five years later he records: “First agricultural meeting at the schoolhouse” [March 4, 1837]. Further references in historical records indicate this was an ongoing affair, but the first newspaper reference is considered the start date of the Sutton Agricultural Society’s Fair & Horse Show, although there are certainly references to it being decades earlier. The New Era newspaper (Newmarket) recorded the Fall Show of the North Gwillimbury and Georgina Union Agricultural Society at Sutton, in 1855.

In 1908, the “Fairgrounds” was purchased by the Union Agricultural Society of Georgina and North Gwillimbury and the group was renamed the Sutton Agricultural Society. The fair had been held on these grounds prior to this date, although, at the time, the property was owned by members of the Bourchier family. Run as a fall show from its inception until the 1920s, the society changed the event dates to August after years of poor weather. This proved to be a very successful move that also had the added benefit of drawing a large number of the area’s “summer visitors” to the festivities, as well. The fair attracted thousands of people annually, including dignitaries such as premiers and prime ministers. In more recent history, famed jockey Sandy Hawley officially opened festivities for the modern fair. The Fairgrounds annually hosts one of the biggest events in Georgina with the fair. It will also play host and break out the bunting for culminating celebrations of yearlong events celebrating Sutton/Jackson’s Point 125. A dance hosted by the Kinsmen on Sept. 10 is being followed by a family fun day Sept. 11, featuring games, food, music, loads of history and everyone being invited to “Party like it’s 1891”.

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9 | The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

THEN & NOW


The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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125 years of Sutton history in photographs:

Toronto & York Radial Railway Company Station: Sutton Terminus, 163 High St. Built in 1908, this was the terminus for the radial railway running to Lake Simcoe. The radial service ran to Sutton from Jan. 1, 1909 until March 16, 1930. The building was purchased by the Hydro Electric Power Commission and was the Ontario Hydro Sutton Rural Operating Area office until 1970. In May 2009, it was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Metropolitan Bank, 112 High St. This was Bateman’s General Store until 1893. On March 20, 1903 the Metropolitan Bank opened and Henry Colson, the first manager, resided on the second floor. When a new bank was built in 1914, Hamilton’s Dry Goods took possession, possibly adding the northern wing. Osborne & Sons Butchers was in the northern building in 1914. Aub Timmins bought the store with two fronts after the Second World War from Hamilton. Timmins later changed it to a men’s wear store and enlarged his business. In the 1950s, the York County Health Unit was located in the northern building.

Queen’s Hotel/Beauty Shop, 116 High St. Built before 1857, Joseph Sheppard’s Queen’s Hotel included a large hall with seating for more than 200 people. Livery stables and storage sheds occupied this lot. By the 1940s there were several businesses on the ground floor after the tavern was forced out during Prohibition. Miss Vera Cronsberry’s beauty shop was opened in 1936. In 1943, fire broke out. Spectators were recruited to empty stock from nearby businesses.

The Mansion House, 129 High St. The Mansion House, built circa 1860, was the third and only remaining early hotel in Sutton. A livery stable, built in 1885, was on the eastern portion.


Site of Saw Mill/Woollen Factory/Town Hall, 133 High St. Sutton’s saw mill, built around the same time as the grist mill, was here until the end of the 19th century. The site was also a woollen factory, built between 1846 and 1851, and later a cheese factory. In 1903, it was the site of the town hall ,which was moved in 1904, also acting as an entertainment venue lit with electric lights powered by the mill. The town hall was destroyed by fire in 1996.

IOOF/Papa Luigi’s, 117-119 High St. In 1889, the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows built two ground-floor shops with a lodge room and one of Sutton’s first newspapers, the Sutton Herald, above. In 1897, Postmaster Henry Treloar operated the post office on the ground floor until circa 1912. Later businesses include general stores, a jeweller, grocers, snack bars and a variety store. In the 1970s, Papa Luigi’s opened and the exterior was stuccoed.

Current photos by Susie Kockerscheidt

Vintage photos & details supplied by Melissa Matt

Riverside/Sutton Private Hospital/ River Glen Nursing Home, 160 High St. Around 1871, James Anderson, a prominent man in Sutton, built his house here and named it Riverside. Suffering from ill health due to the home’s proximity to the river, he sold it in the 1880s to St. James Anglican Church for a manse. In the 1920s, Elsie King purchased it, using it as Sutton Private Hospital. Twenty-five years later, it had recorded 4,997 births. From 1946 until the late 1960s, it was a convalescent and seniors home owned by Ruby Osborne. The building was demolished in 1971.

Blacksmith, 2 Market Sq. This was James Treloar’s blacksmith shop as early as the 1880s. Jim Sedore, employed here as a boy, owned it after the turn of the century. Holder Bros. Plumbing used it for storage after the blacksmith shop closed. Samuel Allan owned another blacksmith shop next door to the east.

| The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

a selection of local landmarks then & now

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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Train’s arrival made Sutton and Jackson’s Point destinations for tourists By Heidi Riedner

hriedner@yrmg.com

Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

The first train arrived in Sutton in 1877 and reached Jackson’s Point four years later. The coming of the train meant not only improved movement of local goods, but also easier access to Lake Simcoe for those looking to make the excursion.

In 1877, the train arrived at Sutton and four years later it made it to Jackson’s Point. This improved not only the movement of local agricultural goods to larger markets, but made travel to the lake easier and more direct. Steamships, which had been on the lake since 1832, began taking excursionists on tours with dinner and dancing on board. Jackson’s Point, a vital wharfage for settlers since the township opened, began receiving tourists. With two convenient modes of transport now reaching Jackson’s Point, the clean waters at the south shore of Lake Simcoe became a popular destination. These early travellers approached area farmers and asked permission to pitch tents and camp with their families near the shore. After a few summers, this had turned into a family tradition; one which would become more permanent as farmers saw the potential revenue that could be derived from selling portions of their farms as small lake-front cottage lots. Entire swaths along the lakeshore were divided, these remain today as the lakeshore communities and beach associations from south Keswick to Port Bolster.

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Built sometime before 1863, this imposing building has had many uses over the years. John Alexander Fraser merchant owned it in 1863 and names such as Hagerman, Cuttle, Burch and Burrows have conducted business there. It has been a general store, butcher shop and barber shop and for years the Masonic Lodge met upstairs. In 1987 Messers. Fahey and Reeder refurbished the building to its original state. This firm has served the people of Georgina for many years.

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For those well-to-do families, camping turned to cottaging and, by the early 1880s, Jackson’s Point had earned its present moniker of “Ontario’s First Cottage Country”. For those who could not or chose not to invest in land at the Point, there were summer establishments — boarding houses or resorts — that could not only accommodate those seeking a holiday, but feed and entertain them as well. Sutton businesses saw an increase in customers over the summer months and, by the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, Sutton merchants even operated stands or storefronts in Jackson’s Point to cater to the summertime tourists. As the decades progressed, Jackson’s Point looked after its visitors’ needs with restaurants, dance halls, bakeries, general stores and even a summer church and a synagogue. Though they may have changed through the years, some of these first cottages built in the 1880s still exist, having been passed down from generation to generation. Generations-long summer residents of places such as Syndicate Grove, Ravenswood Park, the Pinery and others, maintain the tradition.

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By Heidi Riedner

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“The regular train was held on Tuesday morning till 8:20 in order to accommodate the immense crowd at the Point, which came from Toronto on Saturday. The train consisted of seven coaches and all were packed like sardines. This only gives a slight idea of the popularity which Jackson’s Point has attained.” —Newmarket Era, Aug. 19 1898

Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

Guests at the Jackson’s Point Hotel could book a room overlooking Lake Simcoe for $1 per day or pay $40 to secure an entire season of summertime fun.

People came by train, trolley and boat to Jackson’s Point, which, in its heyday, made use of Jackson’s Point Park (the land surrounding present-day Jackson’s Point Avenue and Lorne Street) as its event capital of the day a century ago. Used by church groups, clubs, politicians hosting picnics, and even for a visit by Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1908, the site hosted many events. The largest event, hands down, however, was the annual Dominion Day (or Herb Lennox) Picnic. Almost every year between 1907 and 1933 ‘Uncle Herb’ aka North York representative for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, hosted the popular picnic on the south shore, which, in 1912, was compared to the CNE. The picnic in 1933 was the last and possibly the largest, with 25,000 people in attendance. Guests of various hotels, boarding and rooming houses, cottage campgrounds and luxury hotels could spend an evening at the Royal Casino Dance Hall on the corner of Lake Drive

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and Lorne Avenue for a nickel, book a room at the Jackson’s Point Hotel overlooking the lake for $1 per day or spend $40 for an entire season of summer fun and activities that comes with lakeside living. The Jackson’s Point Hotel, at the top of Lorne Road on the north side of Malone Road, was the result of some of Sutton’s most influential men meeting to discuss the construction of a summer resort at Jackson’s Point. Selling shares in the venture for $10 a pop, they built 10 cottages and a large main building to be used as a dining hall between the railroad station and the steamer dock for the convenience of travelers in 1888. One of the finest of the area’s early hotels was the famed Lakeview House resort, built by the Reeve of Stouffville W.B. Saunders. Originally run as a boarding house providing meals for people who had come to pitch their tents down by the beach, the resort grew and became regarded as a first class establishment that was second to none in Canada, featuring a wharf and beach house at the lake and three huge buildings for guest accommodation, a dance hall and acres of manicured lawn for tennis, lawn bowling and picnics beneath the large trees. In 1892, Sanders had a steam yacht built for pleasure excursions for his guests. Lakeview had its own stop on the radial line and a golf course. Fires in 1920, 1938 and 1969 eventually cleared out the property.

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| The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

Crowds flocked to Jackson’s Point in community’s heyday

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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Bed bugs, sunken ship and Beatle bandit among items to make local news By Heidi Riedner

hriedner@yrmg.com

The more things change, the more they stay the same, at least from a scan of local coverage in various newspaper and print publications during the past century. A local paper dated 1898 recounts a certain visitor to the area being “bugged” at a local establishment. It seems a commercial traveller was writing his name on the register when a bed bug appeared and meandered slowly over the pages. According to the report, in voice shaking with emotion, the man said: “Well, by the eternal gods of war, I’ve been bled by Cannington mosquitoes, bitten by Pefferlaw spiders, driven almost to insanity by Beaverton jiggers, crawled over by the Barrie razzlepacks and interviewed by Sunderland graybacks, but I’ll be blowed if Sutton isn’t the first place I was ever at where bedbugs looked over the register to find out the number of my room.” “Enterprise sunk” was the headline after

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75 passengers on board the steamer Enterprise “passed through a danger they knew not of recently” in August, 1903. Returning on her regular trip from Jackson’s Point, the packing around the steam pipe apparently became displaced, allowing water to pour in. Rather than taking any chances, Captain McDonald was credited with averting any loss of life by staying close to shore and running the steamer into the Mulcaster Street wharf; the wisdom of which was “demonstrated” by the fact the boat sank shortly thereafter.

‘It seems local area youth were so fascinated by the local fire department’s new pumper truck that they kept setting fires to see the shiny new red truck in action, according to news reports.’ It was big news when, in 1877, York County passed a bylaw that Sutton be enacted into a police village. This allowed the village’s elected police trustees to collect levies (through the municipal council) from village residents to cover the costs of “policing” and other expenditures such as fire prevention, public nuisances and erecting streetlights. The first village constable in Sutton was Amos Millard, known as the “Town Man”. Those appointed to the duty were responsible for not only keeping the peace, but enforcing bylaws and maintaining the town hall and other duties as council saw fit. The jail in Sutton was in the basement of the town hall and later a small building on Dalton Road. Tucked in under more modern coverage of weddings, local barn fires, 12 members playing their first game of badminton at Sut-

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Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

A bank robber known as the “Beatle Bandit” in media reports, owing to the wig he sported during heists, robbed the Sutton branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia on Nov. 27, 1964. ton High School and a local couple’s return from a motor trip through the Haliburton Highlands was a brief advertising the sale of confiscated firearms by Lands and Forests Department officers, complete with a twoday pre-viewing. It seems local area youth were so fascinated by the local fire department’s new pumper truck that they kept setting fires to see the shiny new red truck in action, according to news reports. Crime coverage included a 1949 report of a prisoner put in Sutton lockup who was handed an axe, told to chop wood and keep the stove alight, but who used the axe to chop his way out of the cell, instead.

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But crime did take a more serious note when a bank robber known as the “Beatle Bandit” in the media because of the disguise he wore while robbing a bank in Toronto, robbed the Sutton branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia with an accomplice on Nov. 27, 1964. According to newspaper and police reports, the suspect entered the bank wearing a Beatle wig, rubber clown mask, sunglasses and a T-shirt bearing the words “C.K.E.Y. Good Guys”, managing to escape with $25,000. Most of the police forces from the northern municipalities, OPP and Toronto were involved in the ensuing manhunt and capture of the culprit.

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15 | The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

Corner of Dalton & Metro Roads Supplied image/ Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

CiRCa 1890’S

Bourchier’s saw mill was mentioned by name in records dating back as far as 1831.

Sutton and Jackson’s Point boasted considerable industry BY MELISSA MATT

Trades from Bourchier’s Mills, on what is now historic High Street, produced 3,000 yards of cloth from 3,000 pounds of wool; 300,000 feet of lumber from 1,000 logs; and 4,000 barrels of flour (which weighs approximately 785,000 pounds) processed from 20,000 bushels of wheat. According to documents housed at the Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives, there apparently was enough power for each business on High Street to operate one light bulb, until “lights out” after the grist mill started to generate hydroelectric power in the 1880s. After successive owners, damage from Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and an inefficient diesel motor running the facility, milling operations ended in the late 1950s. The woollen mill and cloth factory, built between 1846 and 1851, ceased operation by 1885. After repairs to its foundation in 1889, it operated as a cheese factory between 1892 and 1901. In 1897, the 38 patrons of the factory sent in 695,657 pounds of milk, producing 65,165 lbs of cheese. Bourchier’s sawmill is mentioned by name in records as early as 1831. By the 1850s, James O’Brien Bourchier was shipping his lumber to Toronto, via Bradford, which he gets there by schooner or steamer. By the 1860s, Miller and McDonald built a sawmill at Jackson’s Point, the running of which comes under the auspices of the Ramsay family of Sutton, which is already

running the sawmill in that village. By the 1880s, Ramsay has joined the milling operation at Jackson’s Point. He is captain of the steamer tug, Kendrick, which is used for hauling logs around the harbour. By the 1890s, with the company’s timber supplies running short, much of the sawmill operation is torn down, with much of the lumber being reused to build massive ice houses. The company focusses on the growing ice industry at that point and constructs a derrick and warehouses for loading and storage. The Point was also home to a boat building business in 1907 that still exists today, although after changes in operation as well as hands. In 1907, a young Art Grew came to Jackson’s Point and built a small boat factory over the site of the old sawmill. Grew built sailboats, canoes and rowboats, as well as offering boats for hire. During the Depression years, Grew’s finances were at risk and patron and prominent summer resident Clarence Kemp stepped in. He bought the company, but retained the Grew name. He later purchased a company in Penetanguishene and under the merger it, too, was named Grew Boats Ltd. In 1950, Kemp sold the business and, under a stipulation of the sale, he had to change the name at the Jackson’s Point factory. It was renamed Bonnie Boats, which still operates today. The harbour was dredged and an access canal with boat slips was constructed.

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

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Sutton & Jackson Point 125th Anniversary

Honour Roll

Gary’s Service & Towing

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Briars Golf Club

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Sutton Home Hardware

Donnell Law Group

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Serving Georgina for

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25 YEARS

Mason Place 25987 Woodbine Ave, Keswick 905-476-5545 Serving Georgina for

44 YEARS

La Rue’s Haulage

23082 McGowan Rd, Sutton 905-476-4988 Serving Georgina for

70 YEARS

Town of Georgina

26557 Civic Centre Road, Keswick 905-476-4301 Serving Georgina for

45 YEARS

26 YEARS

Prestige Jewellery

23580 Woodbine Ave, Keswick 905-476-3700 Serving Georgina for

21 YEARS

Schell Lumber Home Building

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15 YEARS

Keswick Hearing Centre

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20 YEARS

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5 YEARS

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By Heidi Riedner

hriedner@yrmg.com

Schools are mentioned in the township as early as 1832. While the St. James Parish Hall, built circa 1840 on River Street, is regarded as the first school at Sutton, historians agree that a school was likely built a few years earlier along the lakeshore between Sibbald’s and Jackson’s points; that there may have been a “finishing school” for girls at the Sibbald

home; and a classroom at Bourchier’s Manor House. An 1848 plan of Sutton also shows a schoolhouse at Market and North streets, according to the Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives. In August 1879, the Township of Georgina granted a 20-year loan of $4,000 to Union School Section No. 1 for the construction of a new school, to be built by Wm. Ramsay & Co., and described in 1885 as “a handsome and substantial brick structure, with rooms

for three teachers”. The building was constructed two lots north of the existing school on River Street. After it was destroyed by fire in 1949, a new Sutton Public School was built on Dalton Road, which is now the home of Georgina’s community hub, which is known as The Link. The Sutton & Georgina Continuation School (Sutton High School) was built in 1929 on land purchased from John King for $2,000, at a cost of $47,000.

Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

THE SUTTON WEST SCHOOL

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| The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

St. James Parish Hall regarded as Sutton’s first school

17


The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

18

Alex Annand purchased property where Sutton High now stands By Joel Foote

Reader submission

Alexander Annand arrived from Aberdeen Scotland June 17, 1886, the day of his 18th birthday, wearing his kilt and carrying his precious concertina. He was enticed here by his aunt, Barbara Forrest Annand, who arrived in Toronto from Tarves Parrish Aberdeenshire Scotland in 1883. She was saved from drowning during a stay at “The Fort” at Balsam Lake by a stranger, Alexander Scott Hunter, who later, after finding out she was making arrangements to return home, persuaded Barbara, by writing her a poem, to marry him and stay in Canada. Alexander Annand settled in Zephyr and married Helen “Nellie” Carruthers in 1889. They had four girls. Their second eldest daughter, Margaret, married my grandfather, Herbert S. Foote, son of one of Zephyr’s founders, William Bennett Foote. Great-grandfather William told my grandmother how Zephyr got its name. He, along with a few other men, was standing on the hill where the cemetery is now located, planning how the town would be laid out when someone said, as a warm breeze blew by, “Isn’t that a beautiful zephyr?” They all looked at each other in acknowledgement. Their new town had a name. Alex Annand, after farming in Zephyr for

Alexander Annand with his concertina many years, moved to Sutton West, where his daughter, Jean, and son in law, Howard Woods, who worked for Grew Boats in Jackson’s Point, lived. He and his wife purchased a 10-acre property where the Sutton High School now

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horse and buggy. My uncle, Cecil Foote, late of Parry Sound, related a story long ago of when, as a small boy, he went along for the ride with my greatgrandfather. Their horse stopped by the lake, staring out at it, and refused to move further. A cottager, saying he had the perfect remedy, went into his cottage and returned, lifted the horse’s tail and inserted something he was carrying. Well, that horse took off like a shot, right into the lake, scattering vegetables along with my uncle, into a few feet of water. My uncle swore that the horse kept swimming out from shore until he was out of sight. Another passion of my great-grandfather’s was playing his concertina. He would play for local dances in Sutton and Jackson’s Point. He’d also play at home in the evening for his own pleasure. Living right across the street from him, as a small girl, was Mercielle La Chapelle, who would fall asleep at night listening to his music. In 1939, my great-grandmother passed away and Alexander, along with his daughter and son-in-law, eventually moved to Temagami to operate a hunting and fishing lodge, then later to Parry Sound, where he died in 1947 in his 80th year. My great-grandparents are both buried in Briar Hill cemetery Sutton West.

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By Gordon F. Brady

Reader submission

My personal knowledge of Jackson’s Point began just previous to the beginning of the Great Depression years, as I was born in 1927. I did not, of course, feel the effects of the financial tragedy that was created as a result. Being the fourth member of a family of five children, I knew nothing but the advantages of my situation. The joys of being a part of such a wonderful part of the world were mine to enjoy. Jackson’s Point was situated in a part of the world that was unequalled, in my opinion, to any other location. Lake Simcoe provided bountiful supplies of fresh water lake trout and whitefish, which were mainstays of our family’s sustenance through the 1930s and 1940s. I can recall the catching of numerous whitefish, during the “fall fishing” season, which began in November and lasted until freeze-up, to rate quite favourably as a commercial enterprise. This was done on “fishing grounds” that were kept “baited” by keeping the fish in that location by dropping preserved “salted minnows” at the end of each fishing session. It was also possible to catch sufficient whitefish by means of ice fishing, to make it well worth the enjoyable time spent doing that; although it was unusual to be as lucrative as fishing from the boat while fall fishing. Herring were also very plentiful and, if

Gordon F. Brady, 89, ran Brady’s General Store at Baseline and Kennedy roads. The Brady family has lived in Jackson’s Point since 1871. the schools of them could be found in early spring, just before the ice broke up, in April, they could be caught by the dozen, by jigging a bright spoon close to the bottom of the lake. Around the turn of the 20th century, Jackson’s Point was well established as one of the best tourist resorts. Everything about it had been fashioned with intentions and facilities to accommodate the needs of the most discriminating tourist. Lake Simcoe, with all its pristine characteristics, was there to be enjoyed. The summer lodges and hotels were fastidiously set up to provide their patrons with every imaginable need. During the early 1900s, my uncle, Fred

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Brady, assisted by his younger brother, Norm (my father), were employed by The Lakeview House to take their team of horses and wagon to the Government Wharf. They would pick up the luggage that had come up by train with the vacationers and bring it to the Lakeview House. Quite often, there would be trunks full of belongings, as the clients often spent the entire summer at these lavish surroundings. My grandmother was employed there as a cook and Fred and Norm were also sent out to local farms to purchase produce for meals for the guests. Jackson’s Point and along the lakeshore was kept beautifully clean and well cared for. During the summer months, it was a beehive of entertainment and activity. It was, in the truest sense, the answer to what is spoken of, as “The good old days.” All of the stores did a thriving business and this was reflected in the appearance of the streets and buildings. The people, who owned cottages or stayed at the hotels, kept the streets busy at any time of day — especially in the evenings when they came out to socialize. Often, the male members of the families would stay at work in the city during the week and join their family here on weekends and vacations. During the 1930s, aspiring politicians held annual “picnics” at Jackson’s Point Park. These were similar to present day country fairs in many ways. A feature though that I remember, was professional wrestling

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contests that we watched from the natural amphitheatre setting to the north of the parklands. I saw my first silent movie at one of these picnics, as it was projected onto the wall of a dance hall that was there at the time. The two sponsors who come to mind were William Mulock and Herb Lennox. People came from miles around to enjoy the free entertainment and receive the small gifts that were given to them. The park area at that time included what is now occupied, for the most part by the motel, with a driveway on the southern border that led to a lakefront home. The walkway through the parkland led to the public wharf between rental cabins. The northern border of the park was beyond the hill to the road leading to the Government Wharf and a section below the hill, which is now occupied by boat slips and boat shelters. Part of this section of the park was mentioned previously as the site used as a natural amphitheatre for the wrestling shows. The grounds were always filled to capacity during these events. A large dance hall was built right at the water’s edge. It was called The Edgewater Pavilion. While the tourist business, fishing and lifestyles of the area have changed considerably since the early part of the 20th century, Lake Simcoe and the area in and around Jackson’s Point remain quite beautiful during all four seasons.

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| The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lake Simcoe provided plenty of lake trout, whitefish

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The Georgina Advocate | Thursday, September 8, 2016 |

20

We are Proud to have shared 25 Years of Sutton and Jackson’s Point 125 years!

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Sutton & Jackson's Point, 125 Proud, 2016  
Sutton & Jackson's Point, 125 Proud, 2016  
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