Stories From Our Past — Week of Sept. 20, 2018

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


-British prime minister Neville Chamberlain visited German chancellor Adolf Hitler in an attempt to have diplomatic discussions to fend off war in Europe. The move was seen as a bold gamble as Chamberlain would either gain concessions or unite his nation to go into war.

– The Cherry Valley Cheese Factory, at one time the largest in the county, was completely destroyed by fire. Owner Albert Beckwith was able to get milk records and milk samples out, but was not able to save equipment valued at over $4,000.

– The annual Ameliasburgh School Fair had 810 exhibits on display. Apples and flowers were two of the largest categories with more than 80 entries each.


-The Royal Canadian School of Artillery scheduled an open house to show the community the work taking place at the former Camp Picton. A highlight would be simulated air attacks by Royal Canadian Air Force members from Trenton against army guns on the ground.

– A general rain provided some relief for farmers who had been drawing water for cattle due to dry wells and streams, and to homeowners whose cisterns had run dry. The rain also reduced the significant risk of grass fires developing in the county.

– MPP Donald Baxter and South Marysburgh reeve Donald Thompson formally opened a new concrete bridge at Milford, replacing a former steel structure.


– Ameliasburgh Township saw both its population and its assessment base outstrip Picton. The township had 360 more people than the town and had an assessed value of land $1.17 million higher. Despite these numbers, Picton had 58 full-time workers, compared to nine full-time workers and 18 part-time workers in Ameliasburgh.

– John Pollock, a grape grower in Niagara for 28 years, planted 130 vines on his land near West Lake five years prior. He believed conditions in the county would make grapes suitable as a major cash crop locally.

– The Rotary Club of Picton only received 67.5 per cent of its target for the annual Easter Seals campaign. The club dipped into reserves to pay for its commitment.


– PECI athletic director Don Cumming called the stand-off between the provincial government and teachers that resulted in an indefinite suspension of inter-school athletics “the worst fiasco I’ve ever seen.” He said students were paying the price, but admitted it was important teachers stick together to force meaningful change.

– The residents of five North Marysburgh lots were at risk of seeing their homes moved. Their homes were mobile trailers parked on “rural” designated land, but the former township had a comprehensive bylaw banning trailer use on rural land.

– Former prime minister Joe Clark spoke in Belleville about his intention to seek federal Progressive Conservative leadership.