In 1868-The Ottawa Agricultural Society acquires 19 acres of land east of Bank Street and adjacent the Rideau Canal for the purpose of a fairground.The fields used for the Exhibition are later turned into a permanent park. Many citizens question the location of the park so far out in the country. Ottawa at the time does not extend much beyond Bank Street and Maria Street (later Laurier Ave. West). Southwards, Bank Street is little more than a trail with fields on either side, but there is a toll gate where McLeod Street now intersects Bank Street. A three-plank boardwalk runs down one side, but comes to an end near McLeod Street. It seems that the bears went away after that and only were mentioned when the famous beloved wrestling bear Terrible Ted came to the Civic Centre.
Ron McConnellThe land was granted to the Society by my ancestors, the Williams family, who owned most of the property on both sides of the canal at the time. The condition was that an “Agricultural Fair” be held there at least once a year. When the City of Ottawa decided to move the Exhibition out to Rideau Carleton and discontinue the annual fair, they weren’t aware of the condition. Needless to say, there was a lot of backroom dealing happening for a number of months to get out of the agreement.-
A correspondent to the Ottawa Journal says : Three of the residents of Ashton,
Messrs. J. Fry, J. T. Basken and A. M.Craig, while fishing on the Mississippi
Lake above Carleton Place, had quite an exciting chase after a bear in the water
opposite Allan’s Point. It appears that on the 11th inst. about 6 a.m. as the
sportsmen were trolling about a mile-and a-half below the point they spied his
bearship crossing at the above place, and with Basken at the oars, Fry at the rudder and Craig with a Winchester rifle in hand, the boat bounded over the waves until they came within about 150 yards of him.
Then Craig brought his rifle to bear upon bruin and gave him a dose between the shoulder and the head. Bang again twice in the neck, and then the bear gave battle, but two more shots in the head gave him the coup de grace.
After trolling for some time, they towed the animal down the lake to Carleton
Place, and upon telling their adventure they would not be believed, one sport
remarking that a bear had not been seen up the lake for ten years—but “seeing
is believing”—and a visit to the boathouse soon dispelled all doubts as to the
authenticity of their statement.
One feature about the event was that the sports and bear had lodged in close proximity the
Mississippi Lake NWA is also home to a variety of mammals. A small mammal trapping study documented five species residing in the NWA: Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda), Masked Shrew (Sorex cinereus), Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) and the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) (EC-CWS, 1980). The marsh provides habitat for several species of fur bearers including North American Beaver, River Otter (Lutra canadensis) and Muskrat (Hamill and Thomson, 2012). Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), Raccoon (Procyon lotor), White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus viginianus), Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) and Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) can also be found within the NWA (EC-CWS, 2012b; Hamill and Thomson, 2012; Robinson, personal communication, 2012).
I am a little older than most of the folks who have commented about the Actinolite Bears. In the summer of 1936 and 1937 I lived with my grandparents- Joseph and Beatrice Yanch in the Stewart House in Flinton. The owner of the service station at Actinolite had a bear that we stopped in to see when we went into Tweed for shopping. However, the real adventure was when the bear owner took his bear on a tour around the countryside. You could buy bottles of pop or beer from him and hand them to the bear. For an extra fee he would allow people to have their picture taken handing the bottle to the bear or standing beside it while it guzzled the refreshment. I have an old photo of me standing beside the bear who was chained to the front bumper of the owners old truck. We were all standing in front of the Stewart House.
During the 1930s as Highway 7 was built to replace the poor road to Kaladar, a bus stop restaurant and store with motor court cabins was built (largely using the logs from the old Kleinsteuber church from the nearby German Settlement. It had a tourist attraction of caged black bears, a store that sold Indian moccasins and trinkets, and the restaurant was later rebuilt.
I remember Buster and Brandy. The Price Log Cabin was owned by my 2 Uncles, Bud and Bruce Price. I sure miss the days of feeding the bears their ice cream and pop. My Great Grandfather built the log cabin. I also remember the trading post that was next door, they had a lot of nice things
My Grandpa, Bruce Price & Uncle Bud (Lloyd Price) were owners of the Log Cabin Restaurant (Price Bros.). My Dad worked there along with everyone else in the family at some point, and many of the locals as well. Lots of memories there. I still come into contact with may people who remember the place and the bears, Buster and Bandy (sisters) and the older bear Teddy (female). When I was a kid it was just empty cages. The bears are buried in the field at what used to be my Grandparents house, across the road from the restaurant, now owned by my cousin.
My Great Grandfather, Merritt Price built the Log Cabin Restaurant. His sons Bud and Bruce (my Grandfather) inherited and ran the restaurant, with their wives Shirley and Helen, respectively, until 1984, when they sold it and retired. I note above, mention of the bears being incorrectly identified as Mandy, Bandy, and Moe. Please note that there were more than two bears, over the years, and those names do sound familiar to me. The restaurant was named after the log cabin that Merritt and Dorothy Price lived in. There were also 3 very small rental cabins, and they were also named (although i forget the names), which may be contributing to name-related confusion . One of the cabins still exists on the property of the late Bud Price on the corner of Hwy’s 7 and 37. Also note, the bears loved ice cream just as much as pop.
Jon, I’m afraid I don’t know when the bears were no longer at the Log Cabin, but I’m hoping some readers might. As you probably saw from other comments, some members of the Price family, who ran the restaurant for many years, have weighed in, and they might know. I kind of think that the bears were still there when my family moved away in 1975, though I wouldn’t want to bet my bottom dollar on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the last of the bears was somewhere around 1976 or 1977, as you are guessing
In the mid 1960’s and into the 1970’s our family would often make the trip from Belleville to both, Tweed and Flinton to visit family. Of course, our father (late Charles Kammer) would always stop at the Log Cabin for us kids to view the bears. From time to time, we were granted enough money to purchase a coke to give the bears. This was a highlite of a weekend for us kids!
Day Tripping Ontario–I remember a zoo on Highway 7 near Sharbot Lake. I think it was only .10 admission and had eagles and some other animals in fencing that didn’t look too secure Anyone remember this, Most likely very early 70’s or late 60’s
There were so many responses about theBears of Actinolite I decided I had to document it for generations to come. Of course most of today’s folks would not approve of the condition that these bears lived in– but, according to a member of the family she said they knew no other life. Maybe not what you want to hear– but times were different in those days.
Chances are if you ever drove down Highway 7 you have fond childhood memories of visiting those bears in Actinolote. Joe Vinkle had quite a little menagerie in Actinolite at one time, and having lunch at Joe’s restaurant was a treat. I remember the fries and a shake along with the smell of the bears and some say Joe probably never gave those bears a a bath. I don’t doubt it for a second.
Jim Cassidy said that before the bears arrived they gave Joe a fawn that showed up at their home on the Zealand road. That apparently was the beginning of Joe’s mini-zoo. The deer’s name was Nancy who lived a long life, and always responded to her name when the Cassidy family visited. Joe also had a monkey when he owned the service station across the highway. Unfortunately he wasn’t Michael Jackson’s monkey Bubbles and he was deemed a “nasty boy” and bit people.
Buster or Bandy, the two caged bears who in the 1960s were the star attraction at the popular service station and restaurant on Highway 7 near Actinolite called Price’s, or the Log Cabin. People loved to stop in and watch those bears. (Photo almost certainly by my grandfather, J.A.S. Keay)– From-Meanwhile, at the Manse
Jeremy Stinson said his grandparents lived in Norwoods and he remembers stopping at the Actinolite Junction on a trip up with his older brother, and the whole way up his sibling was talking about visiting the bears. But, they had been gone for some time. Maybe a year? This would have been in the early 1980s, but Jeremy had no idea what he had missed, but his brother seemed quite saddened by it.
The bears loved their Coca Cola and ice cream and on their cage the sign actually said something like ‘our favourite foods are Coca-Cola and ice cream’. It was said that sometimes they would drink up to 30 bottles on a hot summer day. I remember them pacing back and forth in the cage and wondered what kind of an existence they had.
The family said they were “rescue bears” The bears were found as orphaned cubs and knew no other life and probably would have died had they not been given homes. So what happened to them? The bears lived into their 30’s and just passed away of old age. Teddy, the first of the bears died first. Of the two bears everyone loved, Buster died first and then Bandy – missing Buster I guess.
The last few times I’ve had the occasion to drive past Kaladar I’ve wondered about those bears among other things that disappeared like The Mohawk Trading Post. If only life had an ‘undo’ button sometimes.
THE LOG CABIN WAS A BUSY SPOT AT THE TIME THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN AROUND 1950. WITH HIGHWAY 7 ESTABLISHED AS A MAJOR ROUTE CONNECTING TORONTO AND OTTAWA, CARS AND BUSES WOULD OFTEN PULL IN FOR FOOD AND GAS. PHOTO COURTESY TWEED HERITAGE CENTRE/TWEED NEWS
My sister in l in 1959 giving the bears a drink of Coke. Those poor bears….
Last night after tossing and turning in my sleep I woke up once again in a sweat. Was it a hot flash that had caused me to wake up so suddenly? No, for the past year visions of bears have plagued my dreams on a weekly basis. They do not speak to me personally but these black bears somehow make their presence known and I have no clue why. Last night a bear gave me their dead cub and somehow it became mounted and stuffed and I then placed it in a long white floral gift box. I made a point of showing it to others like I was going to get the Nobel Peace Prize on Animal Planet.
Have I been watching way too much Stephen Colbert or was it something I ate? I have no idea if this all goes back to watching some of my friends being chased by a back bear as a child, only to have his father shoot it. Bears are symbols of calm, stoic strength and seeing that poor thing draped over a large chair with a beer in its mouth paraded around town has traumatized me for 50 years.
Last year some of you remember that I went to the Mill of Kintail in Lanark County, Ontario. When I got there, I was asked immediately by some high school students, working as Conservationists if I was there to take a hike. I shook my head no, and then they eyed my Twilight jacket I had on. They smirked, and asked me jokingly if I was there to train with the wolves to fight evil Vampires.
You see, there is a similar clearing here in the middle of these woods just like in the Stephenie Meyers movies. Yes, maybe in this very clearing I will encounter the glorious animated wolves designed by Tibbet Studios. I smiled and really wanted to say something snarky at this point, but then their next words stopped all my brain flow in about one second flat. They warned me twice to read the caution sign for Black Bears.
Black Bears? What Black Bears?
I had to pay five dollars to possibly get mauled to death?
Is there a refund for my heirs if I get mangled or eaten?
No one knows I am here and how will they know how to look for me if I do not come home- or even identify what is left of me.
I tried to memorize the bear sign, but there was way too much information on it. All I saw were the following words:
“If you do encounter one, it is important to remember that they are powerful and potentially dangerous animals.”
Really? Like I did not know this?
“Make noise as you move through the woods.”
So as I inched down the trail I made lots of noise. I am a walking, talking noise maker so believe me this was no stretch for me.
“Travel with others.” Nice time to tell me that once I am in and paid my five bucks.
“Carry a bear bell or whistle.”
Geez guys, I don’t think I saw that specific item in Walmart. Where does one buy a bear whistle and will it work against the criminals in the hoods of Oakland also?
“Be aware of your surroundings by keeping your eyes and ears open.”
I forgot my glasses so everything looks a tad blurry and sometimes people tell me I am not a good listener. What are my chances here?
Here lies the marker for my beloved Trillium path. In the spring, the trail is full of thousands of the delicate white flowers. Do I really want to walk into the Trillium Loop now and what if I come out from the trillium path with only one leg?
Who the heck is going to give me a tourniquet? Most certainly not the Museum curator in the mill. She did not even know much about what she had in her Museum, let alone have a first aid kit for a bear mauling.
Lanark Village bear “If the bear does see you, raise your arms and look as big as possible.” “Speak in a firm non threatening voice while slowly walking away.”
So what does that mean? Do I look at him and say,
”Bad Bear, please go away!”
Or will he speak to me like the bears do in my dreams sometimes.
“Most importantly, do not run or climb a tree.”
You have to be kidding right? I cannot run period and I cannot remember the last time I climbed a tree. I honestly need a stepladder to look in the kitchen cupboards.
I now realize that I need some sort of protection to get back to the parking lot. I look in my purse and realize that a ball point pen or keys are not the solution but I have found the next best thing.
Argyle street bear- Carleton Place many years ago There at the bottom of my purse lies an old pair of Crayola red scissors that belonged to one of my sons a zillion years ago. I had grabbed them in haste a few days ago to cut some flowers and now I suddenly felt like I might have a chance. I start to laugh and then get serious remembering the very last rule.
“Make sure the bear is not following you.”
Turning around I see a shadow peek out at me from some trees nearby. I immediately start running towards my car and wonder how long it will take for me to become lunch.I hear loud noises in the opposite direction and stop dead in my tracks. The bear or whatever it was is afraid and I silently wonder if he has heard the gossip about me throughout the years. I remember that if you dream of a bear chasing you it means you are avoiding a big issue in your life, and it is time to deal with it. I shake my head and laugh – bears, humans we are all the same and wonder if he had been dreaming about me. After all no matter who or what we are:
Just wanted to give a heads up to people in the CP, Appleton, Almonte area. A few weeks ago I was leaving CP on highway 7 headed towards Ottawa and just outside of town, on the right by that abandoned house, was a black bear lumbering through the tall grass.
Tonight I went for a walk after dinner (I live in Appleton) and exiting the village on River Rd just after the boat launch, on the right hand side walking through a farmers field was a large black bear. I met two neighbours on my walk who have lived here for years and said they’ve never seen a bear around here. So keep an eye out if you’re out of town a little on trails etc.
I, like many other residents of Carleton Place have noticed a big increase in foxes in town. I have seen at least three run across Franktown Road and one seen casing a home across the street from the Carleton Place Hospital.
So why are foxes coming into town? Sometimes rural areas can no longer absorb any more foxes. Young foxes looking for new territories wander into areas they would scarcely have lived in earlier, which include human settlements.
Some foxes living close to towns and villages got used to the constant presence of human beings. Thanks to the improved availability of food (compost heaps, rubbish etc.) these foxes were able to reproduce within urban zones. So it is a logical conclusion to say that urban foxes have developed independently of rural foxes, thus forming their own population.
These animals are going to great lengths to live in human territory. Two years ago in London, building staff found a fox living on the 72nd floor of the unfinished Shard skyscraper, where it had been living on construction workers’ discarded food scraps.
Finally, the relationship between humans and large predators is changing. “We’re now seeing generations of certain carnivores that have had fairly light amounts of persecution by people. They may view cities quite a bit differently than their ancestors did 50 years ago. Then, if they saw a human, there was a good chance they were going to get shot.
Apparently the blueberry crop is not that good this year and we are seeing more bears hittingcivilization looking for food. Advice I have read so as not attract bears.
“Wild Wings Sign”” In the back country you need to take special care: Bears don’t like surprises!
Trust me they will not get any surprises from me! No not a one!
“Mailman’s Car going by me at 80mph in the distance. My question is why?”
“Bears check out anything smelly. If you can smell it, there’s a good chance a bear will pick up the scent and come to investigate.”
Good lord, I put on some Avon cream, will they come a knockin?”
“Wild Backroad Foliage”
“Change clothes you wore while cooking, before going to bed.”
I should hope so- that fish was pretty smelly!
“Would I really get out of my car for an eggs sign in bear country?
“In the backcountry, women should keep used tampons in sealed plastic bags.”
No problem I stopped breeding years ago.
“Now why is this road all locked off?”
“Always lock food in the trunk of your car.”
What? Bears never look in the backseat?
“Why is this box here and what the hell is it?”
“If you meet a bear Stay calm, talk quietly, don’t run- Seeing a bear is exciting; it can also be dangerous, Try to determine what kind of bear it is – black or grizzly.”
Exciting? Determine what kind of bear it is? Who writes this stuff?
“Now who in the hell would be playing ball here in the middle of nowhere?”
“Bears don’t want to attack you; they just want to make sure you’re not a threat. Sometimes bears will bluff their way out of a threatening situation by charging and then veering away at the last second.”
Tell that to the last person that was last chomped up!
“The sign says Attack Dogs are on Patrol- Is this a Marijuana Field?”
“Make a detour or leave the area: If this is impossible, wait until the bear moves away. Always leave the animal an escape route.”
He can have as much room as he wants with me.. seriously.
“The Gow Bus Stop 25 miles down a dirt road.. a chair? Really?
“Don’t throw anything: This could provoke a bear attack.”
Believe me I throw like a girl. Wait! I am a girl.
“Lots of pioneer sod homes on Piney Road”
“Any bear that approaches people, snaps it’s jaws, makes whoofing sounds, or lowers its head and lays its ears back, is displaying aggressiveness”
NO shit Sherlock!
“11 Km of chills and thrills on a gravel road”
“Back away slowly, never run!!: Bears run as fast as a racehorse!”
And I my friend run as fast as a menopausal woman.
“Back Off Canada- Leave our land alone or the British will be coming-again!”
“Talk softly: if a bear rears up on its hind legs and waves its nose about,
it is trying to identify you. Remain still and talk to the bear.”
So do I ask him how he liked Kim Kardashians wedding dress? What the hell was on her head
when she got married? Armenian princess tiara my ass!
“Looking for Hydro Poles to find civilzation- I have had enough adventure!”
“Climb if there’s a tree nearby to get away from the bear!”
LOL can you hear me know? A TREE????
“Duck Pond in the distance but too afraid to get out of car to get a closer shot.”
Bear attacks are rare.
Hmmm not what I have heard- are you picking this stuff out of the air? And the government pays you to write this stuff?
“Loose Gravel and Indian arrowheads might deflate my tires.”
Play dead. Curl up in a ball and cover your face, neck, and abdomen. Remain still until the bear leaves the area. These attacks seldom last more than a few minutes..
A few minutes? Thats all it takes to die!!
“Canadian Bear Bait is really French fry grease from the local Chip Trucks”
“If you can’t climb a tree, remember the bear may follow you. As a last resort,
try to intimidate the bear with a branch or rock.”
That’s right- take that and that and that!
“Linda kept the door open at all times and the car running during this photo shoot.”
“Bear Sprays contain a form of cayenne pepper that irritates the bear’s eyes and lungs. Wind and other factors may reduce the effectiveness. If the spray blows in your face, you will suffer the same effects as the bear.”
“Achoo”… or as Jerry Seinfeld says “You’re so good looking!”
Everyone except bears that is!
Images and text by Linda Seccaspina on some god forsaken back road near Smiths Falls looking for some cemetery,
Last night a helicopter flew over my house after dinner and it made me think of summer. Ahh, how I have missed the noise of their propellers and their big lights as they search for Marijuana fields hidden among the corn crops in Lanark County. In 2010 I wrote this story and it reminded me that we must also think of protecting our local bears from the evils of drugs. It seems I was 13 years ahead and could have written a movie about a bear on drugs.. Always a bridesmaid never a bride LOLOL
On July 30th, 2010 Canadian police officers made a routine drug raid in a remote area of British Columbia.
When the Police arrived 13 bears were guarding 2300 marijuana plants. The bears were pretty docile, and listening to the Grateful Dead while munching on blueberries, and chugging Molson Canadian beer.
Daily rations of dog food had been fed to them by the owners of the property, so they were there to stay. They actually welcomed the police with high fives and a traditional “Welcome eh?”
Being Canadian, they were extremely polite, and swore to the Police that none of them had inhaled.
No animals were harmed during the raid that included a pot-bellied pig and a raccoon that was taking a nap in one of the farmhouse’s bedrooms. The raccoon told them he was actually guarding the stash on the night table. He too was polite to the officers, and asked one of them,
“Hey man, are you going to eat those Cheetos?”
Upon exiting the farmhouse, the bears were found outside sharing Hostess potatoe chips and playing road hockey. The police were shocked to find a few familiar furry faces among the crowd of bears. Out of work bears such as: Conan’s Masturbating Bear, and Yogi and Boo Boo were trying to hide their faces from the paparazzi that had followed the police.
Boo Boo was crying and told Yogi that he was afraid that the Jellystone National Park Ranger was also going to bust them if he found out. Yogi stood there with a dumb grin on his face and giggled,
“Don’t worry Boo Boo. I’m higher than the average bear!”
The Care Bears argued with the officers that they had used only medical marijuana and had a permission note from the local Veterinarian. The police attempted conversations with the bears, insisting they should consider applying to A&E’s show “Intervention”. The bears looked at the officers in jest and asked them,
“Does a bear smoke pot in the woods?”
In yesterday’s issue of “Toke of the Town” Jason Priestley of 90210 famehas vowed to save the BC Marijuana bears. Priestley and his parents have actually donated $1,250 of their own money to the cause.
“It’s one thing to have a petition and have a lot of really nice ideas and a warm, fuzzy response”, Priestley said. “We kind of figured somebody’s got to start putting up the money to either move the bears someplace where they’ll be safe or support a place where they’ll be safe.”
(Quote from Toke of the Town)
When asked if Priestly thought he had a good chance saving the bears he said,
“I’m just a student body president man, I am not Batman.” ! – Brandon Walsh 90210
Dorreen McCrindle started a Help Save the BC Bears Facebook page, and through a petition, has drawn hundreds of signatures to help save the bears.