Butler's Blog — Birch Island

The Missing Day - Roosevelt, Churchill and Widgawa Lodge

Birch Island Franklin Roosevelt Laberge McGregor Bay Quebec Conference Secret meeting Widgawa Lodge Winston Churchill World War II

The Missing Day - Roosevelt, Churchill and Widgawa Lodge

The Missing Day - Roosevelt, Churchill and Widgawa Lodge   In August 1943 McGregor Bay had one of it’s most famous visitors for a week of fishing and enjoying the seclusion of the area. In the midst of World War II and days before the First Quebec Conference, a secret military meeting between Mackenzie King, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, United States President Roosevelt came fishing in McGregor Bay. Roosevelt’s secret and well guarded visit was recommended by Commander Eugene MacDonald, the President of Zenith Corporation and a summer resident in the Bay. The visit has been well documented...

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'Old Agony' or 'The Blueberry Express'

1930s Algoma Eastern Railway Birch Island Canadian Canadian history Canadian Pacific CNR CPR Group of Seven Killarney Provincial Park La Cloche Northern Ontario train Whitefish Falls Willisville

'Old Agony' or 'The Blueberry Express'

The Train The Algoma Eastern Railway connected Sudbury and Little Current in October of 1913. The train carried passengers and mixed freight on the 87 mile long line.  It was nicknamed the ‘Old Agony’ because it took  4 hours to travel from Sudbury to Little Current.  The McKerrow to Little Current stretch , however, is fondly remembered as the ‘Blueberry Express’.  On April 4, 1919, Ernie Willis became the first Postmaster of Willisville. Everyone now had another reason to wait for the train and there was usually quite a gathering at Mile 64, the Willisville Station. From 1914 to 1918,...

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Adventures in Rainbow Country

Adventures in Rainbow Country Baie Fine Bay of Islands Birch Island Buckley Petawabano Don Harron Gordon Pinsent La Cloche Lois Maxwell Margot Kidder McGregor Bay Miss Moneypenny Susan Conway Whitefish Falls Willisville

Adventures in Rainbow Country

Adventures in Rainbow Country The popular TV series 'Adventures in Rainbow Country' was filmed in the La Cloche area of Whitefish Falls in 1969. The series was produced by Manitou Productions of Toronto. It is available today on Youtube.  A reunion for this show was held in Whitefish Falls August 11-13, 2006.  Many of the ex-cast and crew attended and a good time was had by all. It was a good opportunity to renew acquaintances and meet the cast and crew. Denis Belton did an outstanding job of organizing the reunion and his short film was a highlight of the weekend. The...

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Arthur Lismer in McGregor Bay

1930s art Arthur Lismer Baie Fine Birch Island Canadian Canadian history Group of Seven Killarney Provincial Park La Cloche McGregor Bay Northern Ontario

Arthur Lismer in McGregor Bay

Five members of Canada's Group of 7 painted in the La Cloche area of Willisville, Grace Lake, Nellie Lake, Iroquois Bay and McGregor Bay. Hundreds of sketches and many, many notable canvases are from this small area of Northern Ontario. Arthur Lismer painted and stayed in the Iroquois Bay/McGregor Bay area and he and his family were regular visitors at the Spreadboroughs in The Pool and the Jenkins in Iroquois Bay. Lismer stayed with Stuart and Eleanor Jenkins on more than one occasion and in the Jenkins' 'Early homesteaders at McGregor Bay' booklet this story is shared. "Stuart was also...

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