Lake of the Woods Museum Newsletter
Vol. 18 No. 1 – Winter 2008


  • Mayor Harding Rideout was elected, along with Councillors John T. Brett, Leith Myles, H.S. Murphy, Charles Pope, John Snider, and Arthur Woods.
  • A plebiscite was held regarding a street railway in Kenora. The result was overwhelmingly in favour – 388 for and 145 against.
  • The Maple Leaf Milling Company was destroyed by fire on January 14. The estimated loss of $350 000 included the building and machinery. The company, in their agreement with the Town, had one year to rebuild and the contract for the reconstruction was awarded two month later to Archibald & Co.
  • Navigation on the Winnipeg River was opened on April 15th by the steamer Standard of the Northern Transportation Co.
  • During the winter months the J.W. Stone Boat Company increased their stock by 150 boats.
  • The Mikado Restaurant & Cafe on Main Street advertised First Class Full Dinners for 25c, 5 meals for $1.00, or 21 meals for $4.00. They also boasted “special tables for ladies”, “cleanliness, civility, good food and quick service.”
  • The Leap Year Ball was held in the Alexandra Hall. It was hosted by the ladies of the town, and Katz’ Orchestra provided the entertainment at what was considered the most sucessful and largely attended social event of the winter.
  • The Board of Trade was looking at the need for a Home for the Aged and Infirm and were looking to the Federal Government to provide the funds for it.

Keewatin becomes a Town.
On April 11, 1908, the Private Bills Committee of the Ontario Legislature passed a bill incorporating the town of Keewatin, and dividing the municipality into three wards. It was noted that “Keewatin has the necessary population and in addition its citizens have long had the progressive spirit which belongs to a town. Its great and extending milling industries already give it an outstanding place among the towns of Ontario.

  • It was reported that 53 men had been killed in powder accidents in the district from March 1907 until March 1908. Many others had been maimed for life. All were employed in the construction of the TransContinental Railway (the CN).
  • The Hilliard Opera House hosted a boxing match of 15 rounds between Stanley Parsons (Champion Featherweight of North Dakota) vs. Harry Cole of Winnipeg on May 8.
  • The Page Brothers of Norman established themselves as Jobbing Gardeners for flowers, vegetables, gardens, and lawns.
  • Colonel Harold A. Machin was elected to the Ontario Legislature as a member of the Conservative Party.
  • Three of the primary hotels operating in Kenora at this time were: The Russell House on the corner of Main and Second Street. George Pagon was the proprietor. Rooms could be had for $1.00 – $1.50 per day. The Commercial Hotel on the corner of First Street and Chipman. William McVeigh sold the hotel in March of 1908 to the Burger Bros. of Winnipeg. The hotel sold for $40 000. The Central Hotel on Matheson Street was operated by J. Beaudro and sons. Their room rates were on par with those at the Russell House.
  • Demonstrations of cooking by electricity were offered for a full week in April in the Council Chambers. The ladies who demonstrated reportedly had no previous knowledge of the workings of these new ovens and yet they were able to produce an impressive array of food. The public who attended on Monday were treated to: broiled steak, toast, hot biscuits, boiled custard, and coconut kisses. On Tuesday, it was roast beef, baked potatoes, yorkshire pudding, and cheese straws. On Wednesday, broiled steak, toast, and devil cake. Thursday, it was broiled steak again, but this time it was served with chicken pie and potato chip sponge cake. On Friday participants enjoyed halibut steak, omelet, and lemon pie. The report of this event concluded: “Cooking by electricity is a success and Kenora is the first town in Canada to demonstrate the general uses of electricity for cooking and bring it practically before the public…”

The YMCA Building (presently the Kenora Legion).
The YMCA building was underway with the CPR setting aside $30 000 for its construction. The railway employees were raising funds for the furnishing and equipment.

  • The Lottie Mc, William McVeigh’s new gasoline boat, was launched. At 45 feet she was the largest boat on the lake at the time. She was built by the Stone Boat Company in six weeks. On her first run of 30 miles, she had 25 passengers on board.
  • The Mystic Theatre opened on the corner of Fort (now First) and Chipman Streets. It featured music vaudeville, and moving pictures. Admission was 10c.
  • A fancy dress ball was given by the staff of the TransContinental Railway in the Alexandra Hall. Rooms were used on the second floor for cards, smoking rooms for the gentlemen, and a supper room.
  • A new gymnasium was opened by Dan Simpson of Winnipeg on Fort Street (now First Street). The gym was outfitted with punching bags, wrestling mats, horizontal bars, dressing rooms and showers, with instruction in the use of all equipment provided by the proprietor. Thirty-five pupils were enrolled. The gym was open daily from 2 – 5:20pm and 7:30 – 10pm.
  • The Arcade Theatre was opened by Mr. C.O. Burton of the Dominion Amusement Co. Two moving pictures were shown daily at 2:15 and 7:15. General admission was 5c.
  • The Rowing Club hosted its 18th Annual Regatta for the July 1st celebration. The regatta included sailing and rowing races, a baseball game and footraces. It culminated in a dance at the Rowing Club.
  • The Keene Detective Agency was advertising that they could be hired for corporate or individual work. Their office was on Main Street.
  • A Quoit Tournament was held in Shragge’s Clothing Store. There were 26 participants all vying for prizes like a box of tea, a pair of boots, a razor, a box of cigars, and a year’s subscription to the Miner and News.

Did you know?

There are three Charles Adamson cenotaphs –

  1. Toronto
  2. Kenora
  3. Wingham, Ontario