Sunday, 14 January 2018

OUTDOORS the poem by Frank Oastler for the Canadian Camp 1922

From the Canadian Camp Menu , 1922

Poem by: Frank H. Oastler M.D.

Dedicated to the Canadian Camp


Oh, give me a bit of the great outdoors

Is all that I ask of you,

Where I may do whatever I like

And like whatever I do.

Where the sky is the boundary up above

And the earth is the measure below,

And the trail starts on where the sun comes up

And ends where the sun sinks low.

Where the wind blows sweet as a baby’s breath,

And the sun shines bright as its eyes,

And the showers come and the showers go

As the tears when the little one cries.

And the brook runs merrily through the glade,

Singing its gladdening song,

And the pine trees murmur their soothing sighs,

Still bearing that song along.

Yes, carry me back to the lake’s white shores,

With its deer and its lily pad,

Where the loon calls out ‘mid the moonbeams bright

Through the mist on the waters sad.

Let me hear once more the elk’s far cry

As it sweeps through the forest deep,

Where silence hangs as over the dead

At rest in eternal sleep.

I’ll pitch my tent by some lonesome pine,

By the rippling water’s edge,

With the great outdoors as my garden,

And the willows ‘round as my hedge.

And, surrounded by pretty flowers

That perfume the gentle breeze,

I’ll idle away the whole long day

In the shade of my old pine trees.

And I’ll watch on yonder mountain

The colors change with the day,

And I’ll follow each shadow a-creeping

So silently over the way.

And then give thanks to the God above

And in gratitude I’ll pause,

And I’ll love, not hate, each care that comes

In that great big home – Outdoors.

The Canadian Camp Menu cover names, 1922

The Canadian Camp Builders, 1922 Menu cover

Albert Operti;  Rev. Leander T. Chamberlain D.D. ;  Major – General A. W. Greely;  J. E. Dalrymple;  Dr. H. T. Galpin;  Lieut-Gen Nelson A. Miles;  Ernest Thompson Seton;   Brig-Gen David L. Brainard;  Luther Burbank D. Sc.;  Hon. Theodore Roosevelt;   Dr. G. Lenox Curtis Pres.;  Wm. E. S. Dyer;  Hon.  Grover Cleveland;  Rear-Adm’l Robley D. Evans; 

Hon. Dr. Henry Van Dyke D.D.;  Gov-Gen Leonard Wood;  Joseph Jefferson;  Rear-Adm’l Robert E. Peary;  Rear-Adm’l Wm. S. Sims;  Rev. J.C. Allen D.D.;  George M. Bosworth;  Lord Kitchener;  Hon. Charles N. Herried;  John Burroughs;  Capt. Emerson Hough;  Charles Hallock;  Hon. Justice F.R. Latchford;  Rev. J. DeHart Bruen;  Robert Bell;

Hon. Charles S. Osborn;  Capt J. E. Bernier;  Buffalo Charles J. Jones;  Dr. George Bird Grinnell;  Dr. F.A. Lucas;  Hon. Justice J. W. Longley;  Herbert L. Bridgeman;  L. Fred Brown;  Hon. George H. Graham;  James A. Cruikshank;  Hon. Walter F. Foster;  Edward James Cattell;  C.E.E. Ussher;  Dr. John D. Quackenbos;  L. D. Armstrong;

John Emery McLean;  John Murray Gibbon;  Kenneth Lockwood;  W. Harry Allen;  C. Price Green;  Dr. T. Kennard Thomson;  Hon. Stephen T. Mather;  W. A. Whiting; Henry W. Van Waggenen;  Dr. Charles H. Riggs;  James K. Hackett.

The Canadian Camp Menu cover 1922

I will work on getting the names of these fellows up shortly.

The Canadian Camp 1922

Motel Astor
March third, Nineteen Hundred Twenty-two
New York
Featuring our Camp Builders on the cover of the program.
Twenty years ago tonight, in Madison Square Gardens, New York, the Canadian Camp Fire Club – gave its initial dinner.  Almost 350 men and women, lovers of the Canadian wilds, were present, and enthusiastically indorsed the proposal that the membership be increased to 1000, which number was attained the following year.  The roll has now reached about 4000, and includes most of the  best known sportsmen, naturalists, explorers and scientists in the United States and Canada and a few across the seas.
At that first banquet we sat in our camp togs, each looking the part of a regular huntsman, feasting on our “kills”, as it were, in the very heart of the Canadian bush, for we were surrounded by evergreen and birch trees.  Among the decorations and accessories were an artificial lake and a number of wild animals and waterfowl, while two-score Ojibway Indians, in bark canoes, entertained us with aquatic sports and a scene from Longfellow’s “Hiawatha”.
It was a most unusual function and a novel innovation in the social life of New York.  That it was also a most enjoyable success is attested by the progress, popularity, achievements, and rapid growth of our organization during the last two decades.  Attending to-night’s dinner are quite a number of those who sat around our camp-fire on that historic occasion, and many who are able to boast that they have never missed a single dinner of the Camp, although in some cases attendance has involved many hundreds of miles of travel.
Since our last gathering (February, 1921) the Advisory Board has lost three members by death – Admiral Brattenburg, John Burroughs, and Louis A. Jette.  Among other members of note who have recently died was Sir Ernest H. Shackleton.  These names are sufficient in themselves to suggest the importance of our work, its educational value to our urban citizenship, its contribution to science and exploration, and the distinguished character of the Camp’s constituency. All four were loyal supporters of the organization and their advice and counsel will be seriously missed.
Listed in the following pages will be found the names of a number of invited guests – persons of real eminence in the fields of literature, statesmanship, transportation, and the learned professions – to whom a cordial invitation is also extended to become active members of the Camp.  This applies with equal urgency to those ladies and gentlemen who are present to partake of the hospitality of individual members;  for both sexes are equally eligible, and applications from the younger generation are especially desired. No initiation fee is charged, and no dues are collected, although testamentary bequests and voluntary donations to the trust fund for development and maintenance of the organization, and the procurement of the very best slides and motion pictures of suitable type and real educational value, are invited to cope with the perpetual need.
The importance of such an institution as the Canadian Camp in fostering a rational love for “God’s great outdoors” and inculcating the ideals of generosity, humaneness, square dealing, and true brotherhood that characterize sportsmanship of the genuine sort was early and vividly recognized by the officers and members whose portraits appear on the front cover page of this Menu. They realized what it would men to future generations of city dwellers to bring the woods and streams, the denizens of the forest, the flora of the broad expanse of Nature, the sports and healthful pastimes of the outer world, to their very back doors – through the camera and the utterances of real lovers of life in its natural setting assembled at regular intervals by such an organization as this.
The Camp has demonstrated that true sportsmanship has no elements of cruelty; its insistence upon legislative measures for the protection of wild game has led to the creation of bird sanctuaries in various parts of the country and in a few states prohibition of the use of torturing mechanical devices by brutal trappers.  It urges rational and humane methods for the extermination of pests and predatory animals, and scientific regulations of hunting and the national fisheries.
The aesthetic side of our American life is not neglected by the Canadian Camp.  The growing number of patriots who are interesting themselves in the preservation of our great National Parks in all their wild beauty have our enthusiastic co-operation.  We oppose the selfishness that would despoil the venerable redwoods and colossal sequoias of the Pacific Coast not less than the sordid ambition to harness for commercial purposes the inspiring waterfalls that help to make the people’s playgrounds a paradise.
An intellectual topic not directly related to the “sporting” interests of the Camp is always a valuable feature of our assemblies.  Last year it was “Anglo-Saxonism”, a subject that is of even more vital significance in 1922 as a result of recent happenings in Washington.  For this reason it will be discussed to-night by our guest of honor and toastmaster – a distinguished Canadian and an eminent American citizen. These gentlemen are in full accord with the “platform” of the Canadian Camp – the welding of a closer bond of union between the English-speaking races in general and the United States and Great Britain in particular, in the interest of world progress and civilization.
Our membership, therefore, is made up of Nature-lovers of practical bent and of sympathetic relationship not only with all races but with every living species;  of men and women whose instincts and natural impulses accord with the beautiful poem that our valued co-worker, Dr. Oastler, has contributed to this menu – “Outdoors”.
Without the hearty co-operation and energetic support of the officers and committee members, past and present, that he has received without stint during the last twenty years, the efforts of the Camp’s Founder and President would have been wholly futile;  and he takes this opportunity to tender his sincerest thanks and make public acknowledgement of his indebtedness to them for their splendid assistance.
A word of appreciation is also due to the Winchester Arms Company, whose large and magnificent “Sportsmen’s Headquarters” on Fifth Avenue were so generously placed at our disposal of the Dinner Committee for the preliminary work in connection with this function.
It was at the suggestion of the Committee and the Advisory Board that this brief review of the history and purpose of the Canadian Camp is printed as part of the Menu’s contents instead of being delivered in the usual form as an introductory address from the speaker’s table – the thought being that many of our members might wish to preserve it among the mementoes of deeper significance and wider individual interest.  G. Lenox Curtis
(So this Menu has come down through the years as a memento from  attendee John G. McKirdy, Canadian Guide – to his son John and thus to the Nipigon Historical Museum Archives in January 2018.)

Saturday, 13 January 2018


From John McKirdy January 10, 2018
The dinner menu from the Farewell Dinner for the Virgin Falls Hydro Employees August 28, 1926.
Virgin Falls Hydro Employees
Farewell Dinner
August 28th , 1926
Duncan’s Cocktails
Virgin Celery and Olives
Learoyds in the Soup
Damned Trout
Roast McKirdy’s Chicken
MacDougall Sauce
Beans a la Mitchell
Speckled Spuds
Dixon’s Salad
I’ll Scream --- with Wayfarers
Cheese it Now
Coffee and Mumm
God Save the Poor Fish

Friday, 4 August 2017


Photos taken August 2nd, 2017
Showing the third tower under construction.
The Canadian Flag was put up in celebration of Canada Day 2017 our 150th year of Confederation.
The first lot is taken as we drive East.
This next lot is taken as we cross back over the Bridge going West on Highway 11/17.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Nipigon hasn't Always been Just a " Pretty Place" (from Aug 25, 2011 JNSTB)


Over-looking the Lagoon with the CNR causeway
that cut off the flow curve of the Nipigon River a hundred years ago.
 Now the CNR has pulled their tracks , will the causeway stay?

Once there was some heavy action going on two miles down river, on Vert Island and even on Cooke Point on the south shore of Lake Nipigon.

These are the Nipigon Bay Islands looking from Kama Hill 20 km East of Nipigon. 
The smoke of the Red Rock mill is just visible 
a quarter of the way in from the right of the photo.
Taken with trusty Brownie 126 in 1965.

Document 733, Canada Dept. of Mines, Canadian Limestones for Building Purposes, page 96, describes our area limestone as being of three types:

  1. very hard, siliceous stone

  2. soft, marly, very impure dolomite, usually red in colour, which weathers readily to a shaly mass

  3. light, grey, very fine-grained dolomite usually possessing a green tint and much of it mottled with red

The third kind was the best but its helter skelter locations have kept it relatively unused. In 1931 a quarry opened on Cooke Point but didn't run long.

A small amount of building stone of the number one variety was quarried from the East side of the Nipigon River two miles below the town-site. This stone was too hard for general building purposes.

Nipigon River 1965 from saw mill site.

T.L. Tanton's memoir 167, the Geological Survey of Canada 1931, describes the limestone of the Sibley series suitable for ornamental building stone, as being found near the mouth of the Nipigon River.  The limestone was thinly inter laminated with red, purple, and green shaly material. Prior to  1919, an ornamental building stone known as Nipigon Marble, was produced from a quarry on the East shore.

Directly across from the saw mill site on Nipigon River.
 Looking at the East side. 1965

Vert Island had a sandstone quarry and it was abandoned in 1885.

Islands in the stream.

Further documentation of the limestone deposit two miles below Nipigon was made in, Canada Dept. of Mines and Resources, Limestones of Canada, Part IV, No. 781, page 339, under the heading of Nipigon River.

Coming up on the 'picture rocks'.

It reads thus: " Two miles below Nipigon Village, hard, siliceous Precambrian limestone is exposed on both sides of the Nipigon River, but principally on the east side where a small quarry for building stone was at one time opened.  At the site of the quarry a thickness of 43 feet of the limestone, dipping southerly at a low angle, is exposed above the water. A short distance inland it is overlain by a sill of trap rock 175 feet thick.

The succession of beds is as follows:
  • 10 feet thickly bedded, shaly, dark grey.magnesian limestone weathering to a greenish grey.
  • These are the pictograph rocks in Nipigon Bay.
  • 15 feet purplish and dark greenish grey, very hard cherty dolomite in beds up to one foot thick, that weathers differently.
  • 4 to 6 inches of hard, green and purple shale,
  • 19 feet magnesian limestone of similar appearance to that above but which is less hard and siliceous. the beds are up to 2 feet in thickness and are wavy with thin beds of softer limestone between. Some are mottled with dark purple patches clouded with pink and green.
It was mainly these lower beds that were quarried

Back up River toward Nipigon, 1991, the big power line crosses the river,
not visible in the 1965 photo.
We still have to cross the 49th parallel before we get back to the dock.

Today, in 2011, most of the area we have been talking about is off limits.
The Great Lakes Heritage Coast,
The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists,
The National Marine Conservation Area -
all carry a do not use mandate.