The Doctor Dolittle of White Lake–Harry Brown



Photo- Ottawa Journal January 1963


There was no doubt that Harry Brown was like a lot of us seniors. Wanting to live his own life on his own terms after he retired he turned down his son’s Robert and Harry’s offers of going to live with them. Harry was going to have none of that and instead when he retired from The Corps of Commissionaires he decided to build a cabin on Three Mile Bay at White Lake.

His sons knew best not to argue with him and instead picked up a hammer on weekends and holidays and helped build their father his dream cabin. It was just how Harry wanted it– well insulated and hidden among the trees on the shore of Three-Mile Bay.

You might think once you are settled into your new home in the middle of nowhere– social contact might be off the limits– but that’s not how Harry led his life. The summers held the welcome of cottagers and of course with winter came ice fishing. Did Harry suddenly inherit a list of social commitments? No siree Bob– he decided to hang out with all the four legged friends who suddenly depended on him and made his property home. So the squirrels and the skunks made kind of called Harry “Dad’ and so did some raccoons that became quite tame. Apparently, it is easy to house train these critters.

Harry became known in the area as somewhat of an ‘animal whisperer’ and tales of birds perched up on his shoulder and arms circulated around White Lake. We can judge the heart of a man by his love of animals– and there is no doubt Harry Brown had the biggest one in White Lake– no maybe even Lanark County. This is a story that touched my heart yesterday and hope it did yours.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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