Alex Trombley’s at Snow Road or old hotel (to the right). Charles Dobie Collection
Perth Courier, Feb. 6, 1964
History of Cornucopia Lodge #29, I.O.O.F. Snow Road, by Mrs. A.M. Woods
In our village of fewer than 100 residents we have an Oddfellows Lodge and hall of which we are very proud. Fro some little time prior to 1893 when Snow Road was a booming lumber town an organization known as the Manchester Order of Oddfellows was instituted and held meetings in one of the lumber company’s buildings.
On October 12, 1893, this was changed to the Independent Order of Oddfellows and the charter now hanging in our lodge room bears the names of William Millar, Fred Clarke, Walter Geddes, Christopher Forbes and Hugh Colquhoun. Other members of that date were Thoms Miller, George Weir, A.V. LeFleur, G.A. Marion, Louis Trombley, George Hawkins, James Richards, Elisha Buffam, George Warner, Sam Bolton, James Hawkins, Frank Halliday, James R. Duncan, August Morreau, William Waite, Delbert Wood, Robert Wood, Ed Bishop, Fred Chappel, Andrew McPhee and Duncan Ferguson (with apologies to others whose names are not available).
The hall was built in 1893 with much of the lumber and labor donated and in June of 1894 a picnic was held in what is now known as the old picnic grounds near the burnt school one quarter of a mile north of the present village. A special train on the K & P Line from Kingston brought other lodges and a host of visitors to the Snow Road Station. Here they were met by a brass band from Lanark and escorted to the picnic areas. The day’s activities included ball games, races, contests of all kinds and the inevitable tug of war between the farmers and the lumbermen. A balloon ascension was followed by interested spectators until it landed in Alec Duncan’s field a mile or so away. Meals were served at tables or around the caboose as preferred. Frank Hunter, a noted river driver cook, was in charge of the caboose dinner. Water was brought by hose from a near by spring into barrels for the day’s operation. Home made lemonade and buttermilk took the place of bottled pop and ice cream cones and there were wonderful fire works in the evening. The special train made a late return trip to Kingston. This was the largest picnic ever held in this district and the proceeds largely financed the cash expenditures for the new hall and furnishings. One item is recalled—the carpet for the long room cost approximately $140 and is still in attractive condition.
A side light of the big picnic might be mentioned as it reflects credit on the Odd Fellows as guardians of public morals. A few visitors who were interested in making a less than honest dollar were ordered from the grounds with their gambling devices. They continued business by the road side near the K & P station but with fewer patrons.
The original members of the K & P Lodge #299 have gone to their reward but their descendants are still in command and proud of their lodge. In lean years a mere handful carried on but were always ready to act the good Samaritans. The lodge owns and lends free of charge a hospital bed, a wheel chair and crutches to any one who has need for them. The hall is also free for the use of the church and school, etc.
Author’s Note--A dispensation was also granted for McLaren’s Depot. This village is located in a lumbering district, and a number of the brothers of Cornucopia Lodge, who were applicants for the charter, were employed in that business.
This appears on page 13 of “The Canadian Mississippi River“. The book’s caption reads: ” A back view of McLaren’s Depot taken from the top of Toboggan Hill. Picture possibly taken in the early 1900’s. “
The manager’s house is at bottom right.- Charles Dobie Collection
Roads in those days were little better than paths through the bush. About the year 1856 the government decided to build the settlers a road, so a government engineer was sent, a man by the name of John Snow, so the road was named for him, being called the Snow Road.
Lumbering and the manufacture of potash were the chief industries of this time. A firm by the name of Skeads were the first lumberers of the district, then the Gilmours, Gillies and Mclaren, and the Canadian Lumber Company. Men were poorly paid, worked from daylight until dark and the food consisted mainly of bread, pork and beans, with tea.