Stories From Our Past — Week of Feb. 21, 2019

Each week, the Gazette looks back on stories from the past. Here is what happened this week, by year…

1909

– Christopher Holland, a one-time Picton resident, was arrested in Philadelphia for swindling a Toronto bank out of $5,000. Police caught him by matching his handwriting on letters supplied by his wife to his signature on forged cheques. Holland was wanted in fraud cases at six different banks.

– Pacing mare Doris B, owned by Picton’s B.R. Hepburn,, set a world record for the fastest four heats completed in a race on an ice track. Driven by Ed Harrington, the horse beat long odds to win in Montreal.

– Members of the Eastern Ontario Dairymen’s Association debated the merits of licencing cheese factories. A circular was prepared to solicit farmers’ opinions.

1939

– A former Member of Parliament, First World War hero, and well-known Picton businessman, Brig.-Gen B.R. Hepburn, died unexpectedly while in London, England. With a warm, personable demeanor, Hepburn was considered a friend by many.

– A plane from RCAF Trenton crashed in the woods bordering two farms near Rednersvillle around 10:30 p.m. The pilot discovered his oil line was cut off and he tried to land on ice in the Bay of Quinte. Instead, he crashed through the trees. He was able to walk away and he called the airport.

– The Picton Collegiate junior boys basketball team defeated Albert College 26-15 to capture first place in the league and a trip to Toronto to play in the regional playoffs.

1969

– A front page Gazette editorial promised to oppose the implementation of regional government beyond Prince Edward County’s natural borders. It argued the County had everything necessary to form its own regional government, absent of amalgamation with Belleville or elsewhere.

– Enrolment in the HMCS Hallowell Royal Sea Cadet Corps dipped below the 35 members necessary to offer a viable program. A special meeting was to be held in Picton to determine the program’s future.

– Ontario Hydro installed new 250-watt streetlights in Cherry Valley, replacing aging lights that were half as bright.Most Athol taxpayers were to pay an “expensive” bill for the upgrades, due to a council decision.

1979

– Picton’s historic Globe Hotel had served its last round of drinks. Owner Sam Gentile announced plans to renovate the 140-year-old Main Street structure to house offices and a retail store. Gentile said if he couldn’t save the original structure, he might be forced to tear down the building he said had become an “eyesore” in recent years.

– Warden Ben Prinzen did not deny a rumour that County council was considering giving itself a pay raise. Prinzen said that politicians should be reimbursed fairly for the time they give to their community.

– In response to a petition signed by 90 per cent of merchants urging Picton to “go slow”on BIA initiatives, Mayor Don King said going any slower would stop progress.