Stories From Our Past — Week of Jan. 17, 2019

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


– A new public school was formally opened on York Street at a cost of $4,000. The new two-storey brick school was opened in an unfurnished state, with just enough equipment for immediate needs. One room opened immediately with a second space to open by fall.

– Big Island farmer Lew Williams narrowly escaped death when his sleigh and team of horses plunged into a crevice on Big Bay. People on the shore came to the rescue and managed to pull Williams and his horses from the icy water.

– The Conservative caucus in Ottawa would not accept Robert Borden’s resignation even though they lost two consecutive federal elections under his leadership,


– The Department of Lands and Forestry announced it would re-open its nursery at Sandbanks if enough applications for young trees were received. The free trees would be offered by the government to landowners looking to install wind breaks or reforest their properties.

– After the Ontario government ran up an $800,000 deficit for relief programming, it advised municipalities they should be ready to pay for 45 per cent of the total cost of relief programs, with the balance to be split by the provincial and federal levels.

– Sophiasburgh reeve Roy Ketcheson was selected on the first ballot to serve as County warden. The well-known farmer defeated South Marysburgh reeve H. Reid 9-4.


– Warden George Foster suggested that Prince Edward County set up a committee to discuss a move regional government. He added discussions for a new County Home might also be a priority for council.

– The Picton Rotary Club made a public appeal for the donation of used or discarded eyeglasses to send to Africa. The Gazette offered its office as a collection point. Local optometrist Dr. Chas Publow also contributed dozens of discarded lenses, wrapped in pairs.

– The Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce held an information meeting about local option votes for retail liquor sales within a municipality. The Chamber did not take a position on the subject.


– A plan to build a public swimming pool in Prince Edward County hit a dead end as Ameliasburgh, Sophiasburgh, Athol and South Marysburgh balked at supporting the facility, which would cost $1 million to build and $60,000 annually to maintain.

– PECI principal Paul Burd said there had been a increase in drug and alcohol use among students at the school, but said the use was not something for residents to panic about. He said so-called soft drugs like marijuana and hashish were the most used. He said both were cheaper and harder to detect than alcohol.

– The Fireside Inn ended its employment of exotic dancers, leaving the Royal Inn as the only local purveyor of adult entertainment.