Lake of the Woods Museum Newsletter
Vol. 20 No. 1 – Winter 2010


  • One of the most valuable trains ever hauled over this section of the Canadian Pacific Railway passed through Kenora in January on its way east. It was hauling 12 cars of silk and whale oil. Value was estimated at 2 million dollars. The silk was from China; the whale oil form Vancouver.
  • Council passed a by-law in January prohibiting “the sale of spiritous, fermented or other manufactured liquors in the municipality of the Town of Kenora…Liquors shall be prohibited in every tavern, inn, or other house or place of public entertainment…and the sale thereof, except by wholesale, shall be prohibited in every shop or place other than a house of public entertainment.”
  • 906 people voted in the municipal election–the largest turnout in the history of the town. Mayor Rideout was elected with 591 votes.
  • Marie Nicholson, the world champion “fancy skater” appeared at the Victoria Rink in February to give an exhibition of her sport.
  • Work began on the Imperial Bank building (on the northwest corner of Main and Second Streets–present site of The Cornerstone restaurant). Estimated construction cost was $35 000.
  • The second annual ski race was held in March. The course, 20.5 miles, was found to be too long, as five of the eight skiers dropped out at the halfway mark. The course ran from Stone’s boathouse at the foot of Main Street, up the east side of Coney Island, around the Yacht Club Island, and then back along the north side of Coney Island. The winner was M. Malmo, who completed the race in 2 hours 7 minutes.
  • The earliest spring ever! The presence of rose-breasted grosbeaks around Laurenson’s Creek in March forecast an early spring.
  • A football (soccer, as we know it) league was established with three or four teams. Games were played on the athletic grounds near Central School.
  • There was a freight wreck on the CPR at about a mile and a half west of Keewatin. The heavy rain had caused a wash-out. Nine cars and the engine derailed. There were no injuries.
  • M.A. Piggott and Sons from Hamilton, Ontario were the contractors for the new courthouse. They arrived in April 1910 to begin construction, the foundation being laid in the fall of 1909. Expected completion date–September 1910.
  • A Bachelors Ball was held at the Victoria Rink in April. One hundred and forty bachelors from the area attended.
  • The first quadruplets that ever went to the Canadian Northwest passed through Kenora on April 18.
  • Plastering began on the Tourist Hotel (now the Kenricia) in April and the plan was to have the hotel up and running by July.
  • Local dealers claimed that there was a real butter famine and that it was likely to last a couple of weeks. The price of butter increased steadily.
  • The walk across the Norman Dam was replaced with a two-inch tarmac.
  • King Edward VII died in May 1910. Kenora citizens mourned his death.
  • The Gage cottage on Lake of the Woods underwent extensive alterations, including the addition of a wide verandah around the building.
  • The Tourist Hotel opened for business on August 20, 1910.

Did you know?

The Burley Mine was a single shaft gold mine that was sunk into a very small rock outcrop on the lake.  To stabilize the entrance the owners built cribbing around the rock.  The small, perfectly square island remains there to this day.