December Daily Times in Beardmore – based on reports in the Fort William Daily Times-Journal in 1938

Fri 2 Dec MINATAREE CAMP – “A camp has been built by the Abibiti Power and Paper company, on the main line of the C.N.R. A tote road is being cut from there to Lake Nipigon. Supplies will be taken from Minataree to logging camps at Humbolt Bay and Onaman river after the freeze-up.” “The Abibiti company’s tug ‘Nipigon’ was freighting supplies from Cove Inlet to Onaman river early in the week.” “Navigation on Lake Nipigon closed this week, with the tying up of the Abitibi tug ‘Nipigon”. The ‘Keego’ was drawn out of the water on Thursday. P.Page, engineer on the Keego, returned to Port Arthur for the winter, on Thursday night.”

Tue 6 Dec TASHOTA NEWS – “Percy Norman and Mr. Forsyth, two Starratt Airways tractor men who were assisting MacKay in removing his tractor from the muskeg into which it had sank over a week ago, left on Tuesday for their homes in Hudson.” “The C.N.R. bridge and building crew arrived here on Thursday to repair the fish house at Robinson Lake, and do repair work at the station.”

Wed 7 Dec MINER FALLS TO HIS DEATH – “Falling 1,700 feet from surface level to the bottom of the Northern Empire mine, Oiva Lindgren, 24, was killed instantly about 7:15 o’clock last evening.” Lindgren was doing repair work on top of one of the hoist cages when he was observed tumbling off.  The man, unmarried, left survivors, a mother and father in Oliver Township, and three sisters.

Thu 8 Dec INQUEST ORDERED – “An inquest has been ordered by Dr. W.J. Henry [of Jellicoe], coroner, in the death of Oiva Lindgren.” The hearing was adjourned to a later date. “Lindgren was engaged in removing pipes from the east compartment of the shaft, at surface level . . . Lindgren, employed as a shaftsman, had come up from underground on the cage which was bringing the last men off shift. He was on the roof of the cage . . . Lindgren, according to his fellow employees either took a mis-step or slipped. He fell backwards . . .” The body was removed to Port Arthur; the funeral will be at the Finnish Lutheran church.

Fri 9 Dec ORANGES DONATED – The Women’s Institute held its regular monthly meeting. Business included an offer to buy Christmas seals from the Fort William Sanatorium, an offer from Chapples’ store for a donation of oranges for the children’s Christmas tree, a successful bake sale, plans for a New Year’s Eve dance, report on sewing classes at the school, decision to start bank accounts for babies of members, a parcel exchange of not more than 25 cents value, a paper read on Canadianization, another paper read on the International Peace Garden, all followed by community singing and a lunch. The Waffle Shop was moved to a new location, the building previously occupied by Beardmore Drug Store. Badminton was being played twice a week at the school. “Thursday evening the new Recreation hall was opened with a dance, the Geraldton Hi-Strutters supplying the music.”

Sat 10 Dec VERDICT RENDERED – The coroner’s jury gave a verdict of accidental death in the case of Oiva Lindgren.

Sat 10 Dec MACDIARMID NEWS – “The ‘Onaman’*, Abitibi company alligator, was here on Thursday. It is taking supplies to timber camps at Humbolt Bay.” The new schoolhouse, originally built as a community hall, is open with a classroom and teacher’s quarters.

Fri 16 Dec MORE MACDIARMID NEWS – “Strong northwest gales prevented the Abitibi company’s alligator from making a trip to Camp No. 1, at Humbolt Bay, on Tuesday. The alligator will be drawn up on shore for the winter, this weekend.” “Dr. Brewster, of McKirdy**, visited the Tomlinson Construction company’s camp here on Monday and Wednesday. Camp workers were inoculated against typhoid fever.”

Sat 17 Dec – Refer to SERIES OF ARTICLES IN PROGRESS EDITION which will be posted later.

Wed 21 Dec FIRST TEACHER AT LEITCH – “Miss [Kay] Kennedy of Ottawa has arrived to take over her duties as teacher at the Leitch school. At present the school has 13 and is a very modern school. There are also living quarters provided for the teacher.” The December meeting of the Women’s Institute was a social evening for 45 people, with members bringing along a friend. They met at Kroback’s hall at 8:00 o’clock on Wednesday. Activities included a bingo with prizes, an indoor track meet, songs by the C.G.I.T. girls, a reading, a novelty boxing match, and a banjo solo, followed by community singing, a banquet-style lunch, and a parcel exchange.

Wed 21 Dec MORE TASHOTA NEWS – “’Nibs’ Barker from Northland Airways, Geraldton, flew to Monday to begin flying fish for Mrs. S. Cashaback and Andrew Sutherland.”

Sat 24 Dec HOLIDAYING IN THE LAKEHEAD – From 500 to 1,000 men will be arriving by train from Longlac. The train arrived this morning with three special coaches, and another is expected early tomorrow morning. The passengers are mainly mining men from Geraldton and Beardmore and highway construction workers.

Tue 27 Dec CHRISTMAS TREE CONCERT – “The annual Christmas tree concert for the Beardmore school was held on Wednesday evening at Kroback’s hall.” The centre of attraction was a beautifully decorated tree loaded with presents. Activities included a recitation, a mock radio broadcast, a play, a dance of the dolls, followed by recitations, songs, dialogues, and choruses. Santa arrived and distributed presents, candy, nuts, apples, and oranges to children of the town as well as Leith and Sand River mines.

Sat 31 Dec MORE FROM MACDIARMID – “The Christmas Concert was held in the school house on Thursday night. Three short plays were presented: ‘Buying Eggs’, ‘How Mr. Rates got out of Christmas Shopping’, and ‘The Operation’. The program included recitations, Christmas songs, a Christmas Acrostic presented by 14 junior pupils, two solos, a chorus of seven girls, a duet with guitars, and Santa distributing presents and candies. S.S. No. 1 Macdiamid enrolment: Gr. 7, 6 pupils; Gr. 5, 4 pupils; Gr. 4, 4 pupils; Gr. 3, 4 pupils; Gr. 2, 4 pupils; Gr. 1, 2 pupils. S. Webster, teacher.

[Note* > The alligator (aka a warping tug or winch boat) towed log booms across the lake. The crew would drop an anchor or fasten a cable to a fixed point (e.g., a cluster of piles), and then a mile or a mile-and-a-half away, attach a chain to the boom timbers, and then warp or winch (i.e., pull) the boom to the fixed point. Speed varied between one and one-and-a-half mile per hour.]

[Note** > Macdiarmid station was 5.7 miles north of Orient Bay station. McKirdy station was 7.8 mi. south of Orient Bay station. McKirdy was the site of logging operations which, apparently, required a doctor on site.]

Photo 1 > Headframe of Northern Empire Mine ca 1939. Photo Charles Dobie personal collection.

Photo 2 > The “Onaman”, an alligator or warping tug, moored at the Abibiti Marine dock in Cove Inlet. Built by Russell Bros. in Owen Sound in 1938, it was 42 ft. long weighing 18 gross tons. Photo E.C. Everett.

Photo 3 > Map showing the region between Minataree and Humbolt Bay and the Onaman River. This map postdates 1938, but the new winter road may have followed the route of the dashed line which indicates a winter road post-1938. The solid line indicates a permanent road which did not exist in 1938.