FENELON FALLS 1883
The pretty little village of Fenelon Falls wears a busy aspect this spring, and more so than it has done for some years past. This is mainly caused by the many new enterprises now under operation and the boom in building, which the establishment of large manufacturing concerns, is sure to develop. On every side can be seen new buildings just completed or fast nearing so, mainly of brick and some of wood. The only unsightly thing to be seen is the big hole in the wall of the old grist mill, which gave way from the effects of the frost or the ice, and had never been repaired. The Trent Valley canal is of course the first, that takes the attention of one entering the village from the bridge, and is unquestionably a heavy undertaking. Mr. McDonald is, however, pushing it along as rapidly as he can with the force at his command and has made excellent speed since the commencement last fall. But it will take a year yet to finish it with the present force of men. Mostly French-men from the Montreal are now employed on the excavations with a few first-class rock-men to carry on blasting operations. The rock is mostly limestone and is said to comparatively easy to handle, one well directed blast tearing and loosening up many tons of solid rock. In the new building line, however, there is more labour employed than even on the canal. Brooks Bros. have just finished a neat and commodious hotel near the railway depot and fitted it up in the very best manner possible. Near the McArthur house, on the main street,
Mr. Jordan is erecting a large and commodious brick building, while the pulp mill company is erecting buildings, stables, etc., on two or three different sites. This pulp company will be the means of furnishing work to a very large number of skilled and unskilled workmen during the entire summer, and even longer. Mr. Hand, of the Gazette, is also spreading himself, and is placing a portion of his large superfluous cash capital in an elegant printing office, to be completed during the early part of the summer. Besides these there are many private dwellings in all parts of the village in various stages of completion, some elegant in design and the location chosen. Fenelon Falls has a long been noted for its lumbering interests and its saw mills, and these to-day appear to be as busy as ever they were.
On all sides can be seen large rafts of logs, some brought miles back from the Gull River and Burnt river limits, but all disappearing quickly before the rapid circular saws. Owing to circumstances we were only enabled to visit one of the large mills---the McArthur & Thompson mill, situated on the shore of Cameron lake. This saw mill is close to the railway track and during last winter its capacity was increased to nearly double. Yet they are now compelled to work more than full time and have more orders ahead than they can turn out for many weeks. The amount of timber this firm uses up is a caution, but they have a large supply of logs on hand and limits secured for several years at least. Every kind of manufactured pine lumber and shingles is here carried on, some logs being used for shingles and others more hard and better adapted for lumber. Round this large mill there are many little appliances for saving labour and time which are seldom seen, yet which are all made to work by steam without in the least decreasing the pressure. One is for the carrying out of all the sawdust from the many saws, both the big and small, which are buzzing away at many different places, by means of small elevators, and which carry it all out and deposit it in a big heap for the furnace fires. Second comes an appliance for turning the logs as the sawyer requires to do when slabbing off, and which he performs by simply moving a lever and it is laid over for him as he desires. Two shingle machines are also running constantly at this mill, and the bright, active youngsters are kept busy packing them up ready for transportation and their customary quarrels for the hammer in nailing together. The stack of lumber in and around the yards notwithstanding the constant drawing is evidence of the large amount of stock sent out by this firm and the demand there is for their productions. May they still further be enabled to increase their business.
But it is not only in manufactures that Fenelon Falls is now excelling. Business of all kinds is good and from the heavy stocks carried by many a large business is carried on. In dry goods Messrs. Jarvis & McDougall do a very large trade this spring and their store cannot be beaten by any outside the city, while many others have first-class stores and the very best goods. The grocers and provision merchants, of whom there are many, are equally enterprising and altogether an exceptionally large trade is done here this season. Nor should we leave out Mr. Nugent, the druggist, and Mr. Jos. Heard, the stove and tin ware merchant, both of whom we are pleased to learn find their business increasing, and are as ready as ever to sell the very best goods for the lowest prices. As to hotels they have good ones in Fenelon Falls. The Simpson house and the McArthur house cannot be beaten in any country town, while the new Brooks hotel and the Crandell house are fast pushing themselves to the front. Capt. Crandell is intending to bring a spring down from the top of the hill to his house, and from the continual additions and new fixtures being introduced he will undoubtedly soon have quite a swell house. We are glad to see him prospering and trust he may do well always as he is doing now.
There are several other points we must refer to, but this is long enough for once from Fenelon Falls. Accordingly we stop till next week.
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