Transcript: It Takes a Special Kind | Apr 26, 1988

The title of the show appears on screen. It reads "People Patterns. It takes a special kind."

An aerial view shows a piece of land stretching into a lake.

Joan Reed-Olsen stands by a river. She’s in her sixties, with short brown hair. She’s wearing glasses, a blue shirt and a matching skirt.

Joan says SOMEONE SUGGESTED
WE DO A PROGRAM
ON THE MONTREAL RIVER, NOT
THE WHOLE MONTREAL RIVER,
BUT THE 22-KILOMETRE
STRETCH BETWEEN THE DAM
AT LADY EVELYN LAKE AND
THE DAM AT LATCHFORD.
NOW, THE HISTORY OF
THE MONTREAL RIVER,
THAT STRETCH OF IT, IS REALLY
THE HISTORY OF LATCHFORD,
A COMMUNITY OF ABOUT 400,
LOCATED ON HIGHWAY 11
AND THE MONTREAL RIVER,
ABOUT AN HOUR'S DRIVE
NORTH FROM NORTH BAY.
I'M JOAN REED-OLSEN IN
LATCHFORD, ONTARIO.
WE COVERED THE 22-KILOMETRES
STRETCH OF THE MONTREAL RIVER
BETWEEN LATCHFORD
AND LADY EVELYN DAM
FIRST BY BOAT AND
THEN BY PLANE,
TO GET A CLEARER PICTURE
OF HOW THIS LENGTH
OF THE RIVER HAS SHAPED
THE HEAVILY WOODED
AND ROCKY LAND.
AND TO IMAGINE
WHAT IT WAS LIKE
AT THE TURN OF THE
CENTURY WHEN PROSPECTORS
AND, SUBSEQUENTLY, THOUSANDS
OF MINERS INVADED
THIS TERRITORY IN SEARCH
OF PRECIOUS METALS.

A caption reads "Cecil Conroy." Cecil is in his sixties, with a moustache and receding white hair. He’s wearing a light shirt.

Cecil says WELL, IT ACTUALLY WAS
THE SILVER ACTUALLY THE ONE
THAT STARTED IN COBALT AND
THEN IT JUST BRANCHED OUT.
AND WHAT WE USED TO DO WAS
GO TO THE ROCK FORMATION,
THE SAME FORMATION
AS COBALT, THAT'S WHY
THEY MOVED UP, THAT'S
WHY THEY DIDN'T
GO SOUTH OF HERE;
TEMAGAMI STARTED
BUT THEN WHEN YOU GET
DOWN, FARTHER DOWN,
YOU DON'T HAVE THE
SAME TYPE OF ROCK.
BUT THEY WERE FOLLOWING
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROCK
THAT COBALT CAMP WAS
BASED ON, AND THAT'S WHY
THEY WENT UP THE
RIVER HERE THEN.

Joan says BEFORE THE
DAMS WERE BUILT,
THE EARLY PROSPECTORS HAD
DIFFICULTY NAVIGATING
THE RIVER, AND PORTAGES
HAD TO BE CUT THROUGH
THE BUSH TO POTENTIAL
MINE SITES.

Trees line up by a river.

Cecil says IN BEHIND HERE THERE'S
WHAT WE UNDERSTAND
IS THE FIRST
REGISTERED MINE,
THE GREAT, POWERFUL
MINING COMPANY.
THEY WERE PORTAGED BACK IN
APPROXIMATELY TWO MILES
AND THIS PORTAGE IS
STILL BEING USED NOW.
BUT THERE'S NOTHING
VISIBLE NOWADAYS.
THIS WAS PUT IN IN
APPROXIMATELY 1904.
THIS WOULD BE USED BY
MAYBE TWO OR THREE HUNDRED
MINERS IN THE EARLY
MONTHS OF THE YEAR HERE.

Joan says THE STORIES AND
ANECDOTES ROB GODDEN
BROUGHT ALIVE THE HISTORY
OF THE MONTREAL RIVER.

Rob sails a boat down the river. Joan sits next to him. He’s in his forties, with grayish hair. He’s wearing a yellow and blue cap, glasses, a blue polo-shirt and blue jeans.

Rob says RIGHT IN HERE WAS
THE HUDSON BAY POST
AND ACROSS THE WATER AND
IN FRONT OF THE BOAT HERE
WAS A STONE ROADWAY,
WHICH YOU CAN'T SEE NOW
BECAUSE OF THE ELEVATIONS IN
THE WATER LEVEL FROM THE DAM.
THE DAM WAS PUT IN IN 1914,
I BELIEVE, IN LATCHFORD.
IT'S RUN THE LAKE IN SOME
PLACES UP TO HALF A MILE.

Cecil says THEY FLOODED
SO MUCH LAND,
THEY TOOK QUITE A BIT
OF LATCHFORD RIGHT OUT
WHEN THEY PUT THE -
OH, YES.
AND YOU'D NOTICE ON
SOME OF THE OLD MAPS,
ABANDONED, EH.
WELL WHEN YOUR WATER WAS
COMING UP TO YOUR DOOR,
YOU MIGHT AS
WELL GET OUT.
THAT'S WHY A LOT OF
THAT WAS ABANDONED.
IT WAS GOOD PROPERTY BUT
IT WAS ABANDONED AND
THEN EVEN WENT IN AND SOME
OF THE STORES DOWN ALONG
WHERE THE WATERFRONT
AND ALL, THEY USED THEM
FOR BOATHOUSES AFTER.

Rob says THE REASON FOR THE DAM
WAS PUT IN TO BRING UP
THE WATER LEVEL AND THE
RAPIDS APPROXIMATELY
TWO-AND-A-HALF TO THREE
MILES UP FURTHER,
TO MAKE IT NAVIGABLE FOR
THE STEAMBOATS TO COME THROUGH.

Joan says SO THE STEAMBOATS
CAME THROUGH HERE
IN THE EARLY DAYS?

Rob says THE STEAMBOATS, YES, THIS
IS A MAJOR RUN-IN TOWARDS
ELK LAKE UP GOWGANDA,
MATACHEWAN,
THIS ALL CAME THROUGH
ON THIS SAME WATERWAY.
IN 1914 THEY DREDGED
OUT THE RAPIDS,
WHICH WE'LL PROBABLY
SEE LATER ON.
AND AT THE SAME TIME,
THEY PUT IN THE TRACK BED
INTO THE RAILROAD
INTO ELK LAKE.

Joan says SO THAT TOOK AWAY THE
IMPORTANCE OF LATCHFORD
AND GAVE IT ELK LAKE.

Rob says YES.
IT TOOK AWAY SOME
OF THE IMPORTANCE,
BUT IT CHANGED
THE ROUTE.
IT TOOK AWAY THE
IMPORTANCE OF THE RIVER
AT THAT TIME,
THE WATERWAYS.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DID
THE DREDGING OF THE RIVER,
THE SAME YEAR THAT THE
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT
PUT IN THE RAILROAD.
SO THE LEFT HAND DIDN'T
TELL THE RIGHT HAND
WHAT WAS GOING ON.
BETWEEN 1904 AND 1912,
THERE WAS APPROXIMATELY
FIVE THOUSAND MINERS ON
THESE MINES THROUGH
THE MONTREAL
RIVER SYSTEM.
THAT WOULD'VE BEEN THE
PRIME OF ITS TIME.

Cecil says WELL THAT'S WHAT
BUILT LATCHFORD UP.
IT WAS A RUSH
TIME THEN THAT.
OH, I DON'T KNOW - AND
THEN JUST ABOUT THAT TIME
THEY GOT TO HAUL TAIL
THERE AND GOT A LICENCE,
A LIQUOR LICENCE BECAUSE
THERE WAS NO LIQUOR LICENCE
IN THE MINING TOWN, EH.
THEY WOULDN'T ALLOW ANY
LIQUOR TO BE SOLD IN
MINING TOWNS FOR, OH,
I GUESS FOR YEARS.
SO LATCHFORD HAD THE
HOTEL AND THAT TOOK CARE
OF THE LIQUOR UP TO THE
MINING AREA, UP ABOVE.
AND THEN THEY'D WALK FROM
COBALT DOWN TO THE HOTEL
DOWN IN LATCHFORD; OH YES,
LOTS OF THEM WALKED THE
RAILROAD DOWN THERE.

Rob says THEY SAID IN 1917 THERE
WAS STILL APPROXIMATELY
TWO THOUSAND MINERS STILL
ON THE RIVER AND IT WASN'T
A MAJOR ROUTE ANYMORE.
PRIOR TO THAT THERE
WAS APPROXIMATELY
FIVE THOUSAND MINERS
HAD LEFT LATCHFORD
ON ONE WINTER OR
ONE YEAR, RATHER.

Joan says WHAT HAPPENED
TO THE MINES?

Rob says I DON'T THINK THE CLAIMS
WERE SUFFICIENT ENOUGH
TO KEEP THEM OPERATING
AT FULL TIME.
ALL THIS SIDE HILL, LIKE
THE WHOLE LAKE HERE'S
BEEN ALL WORKED OVER PRETTY
WELL EVERY FOOT OF IT.
YOU CAN FOLLOW ALONG
AND FIND DIGGINGS,
DITCHES, SMALL SHAFTS.
NOBODY KNOWS WHO DUG THEM,
WHERE THEY CAME FROM,
WHAT YEAR THEY
WERE DUG, RATHER.

Joan says PROSPECTORS' DREAMING.

Rob says YES.
A LOT OF THEM.

Cecil says BUT I GUESS THAT THE
TREND AND THE SILVER,
THEY DIDN'T FIND
AS MUCH AND THEN
IT GRADUALLY
JUST WENT DOWN.
THERE WASN'T
THAT MUCH SHOWN.
COBALT WAS SO RICH THAT
ANYTHING THAT DIDN'T
MEET THEIR STANDARDS, THAT
WASN'T WORTH DEVELOPING.

Joan says SOON, A NEW TREND
DEVELOPED: TOURISM,
AND THE GROWING NEED TO SEEK
SOLITUDE AND REJUVENATION
IN THE WILDERNESS OF
NORTHERN ONTARIO.

A man sails in a blue canoe.

Cecil says IT'S ALWAYS BEEN A
GOOD TOURIST AREA,
JUST IN ABOUT 1922, THERE
WAS A FAIRLY BIG BOARDING
HOUSE THERE, RIGHT WHERE
THE WATERFRONT IS NOW,
AND THAT WOULD BE A
FULL-LENGTH RUN,
AND THAT WAS JUST LINED
WITH TOURISTS IN 1922.
BUT THEN, THEY WOULD COME
IN AND PEOPLE WOULD TAKE
THEM UP THE RIVER IN
GASOLINE DRIVEN BOATS
AND THAT'S HOW IT
WAS BUSY THEN.
BUT THEN PARTLY WHAT
HAPPENED, THEY WERE
NETTING THE LAKE
AT THE SAME TIME.
THEY WERE NETTING QUITE
A FEW OF THE LAKES
AND THAT TOOK THE
FISHING DOWN AND
SO IT GRADUALLY
WENT DOWN.
IT'S BEEN UPS AND
DOWNS, PRETTY STEADY.

Elsie stands outside a cottage. She’s in her sixties, with short gray hair. She’s wearing glasses and a blue shirt.

Elsie says I WAS ONLY EIGHT YEARS
OLD WHEN I FIRST CAME.
CAME UP HERE TO
LIVE I WAS 18,
GOT MARRIED WHEN
I WAS 17, WHY?
I DON'T KNOW.
AND I CAME TO LIVE UP
HERE AND I'VE BEEN HERE
EVERY SUMMER SINCE.

Joan says FROM HER HEADQUARTERS
NEAR THE LADY EVELYN DAM,
ELSIE MITCHELL AND
HER FAMILY OPERATE
A WILDERNESS CAMP
SEVERAL KILOMETERS AWAY
ON LADY EVELYN LAKE.

Elsie says WE CAME UP AND
STARTED LIVING HERE,
JUST RENTING BOATS, EH.
AND WE HAD A MOTORBOAT;
MY HUSBAND WOULD TAKE THEM
UP FISHING FOR HALF
A DAY OR A FULL DAY.
AND THEN MY FATHER-IN-LAW
MOVED UP TOO, AND WE
HAD TO BOAT DOWN THERE TO
FERRY PEOPLE AND ONE
UP HERE TO TAKE
PEOPLE FISHING.
WELL THEN IN '42 WE BOUGHT
THE ISLAND UP THERE
AND STARTED HAVING
OUR COTTAGES.
SO WE STARTED OUT WITH ONE
AND THEN BUILT ANOTHER ONE
AND KEPT BUILDING
UNTIL WE HAD SEVEN.
AND THAT'S FOR, THE
SIZE OF THE ISLAND,
THAT'S BIG ENOUGH.
A LOT OF WORK
TO IT THOUGH.
ONE MAN JUST
WENT HOME.
HE CAME UP HERE
ABOUT 40 YEARS AGO.
HE MISSED TWO YEARS;
HE'S 75 NOW AND SAID
HE HAD TO COME BACK
ONE MORE TIME.

Elsie chats with a couple by the river.

A woman wearing a white cap says WELL, WE WERE TALKING
TO DALE JONES AND
HE SAID THAT NOBODY
WAS CATCHING THEM
AROUND THE ISLAND
TODAY EITHER.

Elsie says IT'S TOO HOT.

The woman wearing a white cap says EVEN DOWN IN WHITEFISH
THEY WEREN'T CATCHING 'EM.

A man in his forties says I THINK LORI'S
BAD LUCK.

The woman wearing a white cap says EVERY TIME I GO
FISHING I CATCH FISH.
IT'S YOUR FAULT.

Elsie says THAT BOARD ISN'T
GOING TO STAY THERE,
THAT'S A LOOSE BOARD.

The man in his forties says I SEE THAT.

A woman wearing glasses says WE HAVE TO
MOVE IT OVER.

A street notice board reads "The Beaver’s Lodge. Gift and Souvenir Shop."

Joan says SHARON AND GEORGE
LEFEBVRE ARE ALSO
PART OF THE
TOURIST INDUSTRY.
IN FACT, THEY WERE IN
THE PROCESS OF MOVING
THEIR SOUVENIR SHOP
INTO LARGER PREMISES.

Sharon and George talk in a shop. George is in his late thirties, clean-shaven with brown hair. He’s wearing a white striped polo-shirt with an orange collar.

George says THE REASONING BEHIND
OUR DESIRE TO STAY
IN LATCHFORD IS THE
FACT THAT WE WERE BOTH
BORN HERE, RAISED HERE AND
IN MY PARTICULAR CASE,
I'M 4TH GENERATION
LATCHFORD.
AND I'M VERY PROUD
OF THAT FACT AND
MY FAMILY IS FIRMLY AND
DEEPLY ENTRENCHED HERE
AS IS MY WIFE'S AND WE
JUST ENJOY LATCHFORD.
WE ENJOY THE QUALITY
OF LIFE WE HAVE HERE
AND WE ENJOY THE PEOPLE.
LIKE WHAT I REALLY LIKE
ABOUT LATCHFORD IS
THE FACT THAT YOU CAN
COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE
AND THEY RESPOND.
FOR INSTANCE,
JUST RECENTLY,
WE HAD MET WITH A FIRM
THAT'S BEEN RETAINED
BY THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM
AS THEIR ADVERTISING AGENCY,
VICKERS and BENSON.
VICKERS and BENSON'S LOOKED
AT THE MUNICIPALITY
AND MADE SOME
RECOMMENDATIONS INSOFAR
AS MARKETING
THE MUNICIPALITY.
AND ONE OF THE
THINGS THEY SAID WAS,
YOU HAVE TO ESTABLISH A
LOCAL TOURISM COMMITTEE
AND THEY SAID, THIS
MORE OR LESS WILL BE
THE INSTRUMENT WITH WHICH
YOU CAN PUT LATCHFORD
ON THE MAP, SO TO SPEAK,
INSOFAR AS TOURISM
IS CONCERNED.
SO, COUNCIL DRAFTED A
LETTER TO THE RESIDENTS
OF THE MUNICIPALITY AND
WE SENT THAT LETTER OUT
AND WE ASKED THAT EVERYONE
CONSIDER THIS AND THAT
WE WOULD LIKE THEIR ATTENDANCE
AT A PUBLIC MEETING.
AND IN A TOWN OF
400 PEOPLE,
YOU'LL THINK FINE IF
YOU CAN GET 15 OR 20,
YOU'RE VERY FORTUNATE.
BUT ACTUALLY OVER 10 PERCENT
OF THE TOWN TURNED OUT
FOR THAT PUBLIC MEETING
AND I KNOW THAT'S ONLY 40
STILL, THAT'S OVER 10 PERCENT
OF THE POPULATION TURNED OUT.
AND THEN, IN ADDITION
TO THAT, WHEN WE ASKED
FOR PEOPLE TO VOLUNTEER
TO SIT ON THIS
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
COMMITTEE TO LOOK AT
THE VARIOUS ASPECTS OF
PROMOTING THE MUNICIPALITY,
21 OF THEM VOLUNTEERED.
AND THAT COMMITTEE WAS
ONLY FORMED TWO MONTHS AGO
AND IT'S VERY ACTIVE AND
SO FAR IT'S GOT A CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE IN THE
FORMATIVE STAGES,
IT'S PRODUCING A MONTHLY
COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER
AND CALENDAR SHOWING THE
EVENTS THAT ARE OCCURRING
IN THE MUNICIPALITY
ON A MONTHLY BASIS.
AND IT'S THE RESPONSE
OF THE PEOPLE,
YOU GO TO THE PEOPLE
WITH A SITUATION,
YOU PRESENT IT TO THEM IN
A FAIR AND HONEST WAY
AND THEY RESPOND AND
THAT'S VERY IMPRESSIVE.
I THINK THAT'S UNIQUE IN
THE NUMBERS THAT WE GET
INSOFAR AS LATCHFORD
IS CONCERNED.

Joan says EVEN BEFORE THE
MEETING WITH
THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM'S
ADVERTISING AGENCY,
THE CITIZENS OF LATCHFORD
RESPONDED POSITIVELY
TO A REQUEST FROM
COLLECTOR JIM JONES.

Jim stands in a large shop. He’s in his mid-sixties, clean-shaven with white hair. He’s wearing glasses and a plaid shirt.

Jim says WELL, I HAD THIS,
BELIEVE OR NOT,
ALL IN MY LITTLE HOUSE
AND I MEAN LITTLE HOUSE.
I WAS GOING TO MOVE OUT, I
APPROACHED SEVERAL OTHER PLACES
AND DIDN'T GET ANY RESPONSE,
SO I CAME TO LATCHFORD
AND THEY IMMEDIATELY
TOOK IT UP AND SAID,
WE'LL FINDING A BUILDING,
ETCETERA, WHICH THIS IS.
WHEN I COME HOME
FROM OVERSEAS,
I BROUGHT A FEW LITTLE
THINGS AND I KEPT ADDING
A FEW LITTLE THINGS,
THEN I GOT ADDICTED.
[laughing]
AND I PURCHASED
SOME OF THEM,
QUITE A LOT OF
DONATIONS.
I BEG, BORROW WHATEVER I
CAN TO MAKE IT UP.
A LOT OF THIS STUFF HAS
BEEN BOUGHT OUT OF
THE OLD AGE PENSION CHEQUE.
[laughing]
WHEN I FIRST STARTED I
WASN'T TOO INTERESTED
IN ANY ONE THING, I'D
JUST PICK ANYTHING
AS IT'D COME ALONG.
WHEN IT LOOKED GOOD,
I THOUGHT MAYBE
PEOPLE WOULD ENJOY IT,
SO I'D PICK IT UP.
AND THIS IS THE BEAUTY
ABOUT A COLLECTION LIKE THIS
AND A HOBBY, WELL IT'S AN
OCCUPATION NOW, NON-PAYING.
BUT THE PEOPLE THAT
COME IN AND SEE IT,
OLD VETERANS, ETCETERA,
WE GET GIGGLES TOGETHER
AND IT BRINGS
BACK MEMORIES AND
THAT'S ALL
THAT MATTERS.
IT'S A GOOD HOBBY.
SOME OF THE GERMAN STUFF,
I DID BRING A FEW THINGS HOME
AND THEN THERE'S A
LOT OF EXCHANGING
IN THIS KIND OF A GAME.
SOMEBODY'S GOT
SOMETHING YOU WANT,
YOU GOT SOMETHING
THEY WANT
SO IT'S A BIG EXCHANGE.
SO, THAT'S HOW A LOT OF THIS
STUFF IS PICKED UP AROUND HERE.
AND I HAVE PEOPLE
THAT I COLLECT FROM
DOWN IN THE STATES AND
ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.
OH, THERE'S A
MILLION QUESTIONS.
THE YOUNGER PEOPLE,
THEY'RE VERY INTERESTED,
SOME OF THEM
KNOW QUITE A LOT,
I GUESS BY WATCHING TV.

Fast clips show old combs, brushes, dummies wearing military uniforms, breakfast sets, military medals, black and white pictures of soldiers, newspapers, a Nazi medal and hand grenades.

Jim continues
THEY ASK A LOT OF
QUESTIONS AND YOU
TRY TO ANSWER AND I TRY
TO ANSWER HONESTLY.
IF I DON'T, WE GO IN THE
BOOK SECTION OVER HERE AND
TRY LOOK IT UP TO
KEEP IT HONEST.

Clint arranges a dummy. Clint is in his teens with light brown hair. He’s wearing a red sweater and blue trousers.

Jim says CLINT, WHERE DID YOU
PICK THIS STUFF UP?
YOU'RE NEW TO THE
COLLECTING GAME, AREN'T YA?

Clint says I GOT IT DOWN IN THE
STATES ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO.

Jim says OH, YOU DID?
WELL WHAT'RE YOU GOING TO,
JUST COLLECT AMERICAN?
OR ARE YOU GOING TO BRANCH
OUT AND GO INTO EVERYTHING,
LIKE I DID MAYBE?

Clint says MOSTLY AMERICAN.

Jim says MOSTLY AMERICAN, EH?

Clint says MM-HMM.

Jim says I HAVE TO BE
QUITE HONEST,
IT WOULD'VE BEEN BETTER IF
THERE WAS A LITTLE WEE BIT
MORE ENTHUSIASM TO LOOK
AFTER IT, BECAUSE NOW,
WHAT I THOUGHT I'D BE
GETTING A LITTLE BIT OF
TIME OFF OF, IT'S MORE
OR LESS FALLING BACK
ON MY OWN SHOULDERS.
I DON'T REALLY MIND
TOO MUCH BUT I THINK
THERE'S A FEW VETERANS IN
TOWN; IT WOULDN'T HURT THEM
TO COME AND SAY HERE, WE'LL
COME SPEND A HALF AN HOUR
AND SAY TAKE IT ALL!
THAT'S GOTTA BE THE TRUTH,
I CAN'T TELL A LIE.
[laughing]

Showing a dummy to a man wearing a military uniform, Jim says THIS IS THE ONE I WOULD
LIKE TO COMPLETE, THOUGH.
IT'S A FLYING SUIT AND I CAN'T
FIND A JACKET ANYWHERE.
THIS IS A GOOD
TIME TO ADVERTISE,
SEND US A JACKET!

Jim laughs.

The man wearing a military uniform says YEAH.
YEAH, IT'D BE
NICE TO HAVE -

Jim says THE FLIGHT JACKET, YEAH.

The man wearing a military uniform says WOULD BE NICE.

Jim says MM-HMM.
YOU KNOW, I HAD THE
OPPORTUNITY TO PICK
A FIRST WORLD WAR
FLYING CORPS OUTFIT
BUT I LOST OUT
ON THE DEAL.

The man wearing a military uniform says DID YA?

Jim says WOULD'VE GONE
GOOD OVER THERE.

The man wearing a military uniform says YEAH.

Jim says MAYBE SOMEDAY,
YOU NEVER KNOW.

A sign in the shop reads "Not to glorify war but to bring back fond memories."

The man wearing a military uniform says YUP.

Joan says A LOCAL MUSEUM HAS
SEVERAL FUNCTIONS.
ONE OF THEM WE EXPERIENCED
HERE IN LATCHFORD;
A FIRST-TIME VISITOR
SEEKING HER FAMILY
HISTORY.

A woman in her fifties looks at a book.

The woman in her fifties says WAS YEAR WAS
THAT, HELEN?

Helen says 1938.

A man with receding hair says HOLY SMOKES.

The woman in her fifties says HOLY SMOKES
IS RIGHT.

Helen says IS THAT THE NAME
OF YOUR - ?

The woman in her fifties says DUFFY, YEAH.

The man with receding hair says WAS YOUR
GRANDFATHER HOWARD?

The woman in her fifties says UH...
[chuckling]
NO, JACK, I THINK IT
WAS JACK DUFFY.
JACK AND BRIDGET
DUFFY IT WAS.
THAT'S THE ONLY
ONE YOU HAVE THEN?

Helen says THAT'S THE ONLY ONE
I FOUND JUST NOW.
YEAH.

The woman in her fifties says SEE '38 WOULD BE
REALLY TOO LATE.

A black and white picture shows people walking in a dirt road. The reads "Main Latchford, 1096-1910..."

Joan says IN THOSE EARLY DAYS,
LATCHFORD BLOSSOMED
BECAUSE OF THE
OPTIMISTIC SEARCH
FOR SILVER, GOLD AND
TUNGSTEN AND ALSO
BECAUSE OF THE LABOUR
INTENSIVE LUMBER INDUSTRY.

Cecil says LOGGING INDUSTRY,
EVENTUALLY,
THERE'LL BE NO
MORE LOGGING.
IT'S GOING TO
CLEAN THEM RIGHT OUT.
ANYTHING COMMERCIAL
IS PRETTY WELL.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS
SIT AND WATCH HOW MUCH
GOES DOWN THAT ROAD
EVERY DAY.
NOW, I SAW THREE SAWMILLS
THAT ARE WORKING IN LATCHFORD.
TWO SHIFTS, THAT'S
24 HOURS A DAY
THAT WE WERE RUNNING 20
HOURS OUT OF THE 24.
NO MILLS IN
LATCHFORD AT ALL NOW.
NONE AT GARDINER, NONE
DOWN, BELOW TEMAGAMI.
THEY'RE GRADUALLY CLEANING
THE TIMBER RIGHT OUT.
THEY'VE GOT TO WAIT 'TIL
IT GROWS AGAIN AND
IT DON'T GROW IN A
YEAR OR TWO.
BUT AS LONG AS THEY CAN
KEEP THAT TYPE OF BUSH NOW,
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE
INTERESTED IN IT.
THEY DON'T NECESSARILY
WANT TO SEE THE GREAT
BIG WHITE PINE, IT'S
NICE TO SEEM THEM.
BUT AS LONG YOU CAN KEEP
SOME, PEOPLE CAN GO IN
AND CAN CAMP ALONG THE
RIVERS, IT'S STILL
GOING TO BE GOOD.
BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THE
LUMBERING IS AS BAD
AS THE ACID RAIN IS.

A motorboat crosses the river.

He continues IT'S KILLED ALL OUR BALSAM;
IT'S KILLED ALL THE BALSAM.
NOW IT'S STARTING
ON THE BIRCH.
THE TOPS OF THE BIRCH
ARE STARTING TO DIE OFF.
BUT THE ONLY
THING TO DO IS,
IS JUST LIKE THAT ONE
PROFESSOR IN COLLEGE,
PUT THE SCRUBBERS IN AND
TAKE IT OUT OF THE STACK.
AND THEY SAY WHAT
TO DO WITH IT,
POUR IT BACK OUT DOWN
THE HOLE IT COME OUT OF.
IT'S AS SIMPLE
AS THAT.
SEE, SULFUR DON'T
MEAN MUCH IF YOU'RE JUST
AT MELTING POINT, BUT
IT'S THE BURNING POINT,
THAT'S WHEN THE
ACID STARTS.
JUST MELT IT, LET IT
RUN, DON'T GIVE OFF
ANY GAS AT ALL BUT TO
BRING IT A LITTLE HIGHER,
THAT'S WHEN THE GAS
IS GIVEN OFF.

A village sits by the river.

George says THE POPULATION OF
LATCHFORD RIGHT NOW
IS RIGHT AROUND THE 400
MARK AND WE'RE LOOKING
AT THE END OF A MAJOR
EMPLOYER SHERMAN MINE
IN ANYWHERE FROM
THREE TO EIGHT YEARS.
WILLIAM MILLEN and SON ARE
HAVING LOTS OF PROBLEMS
AT PRESENT AND THIS COULD
WELL CONTINUE INTO
THE FUTURE AND WE HAVE TO
LOOK AT SOMETHING THAT WILL
ALLOW US TO CONTINUE ON
AND I THINK WE ALL HAVE
TO LOOK AT THIS VERY
REALISTICALLY.
I'M THINKING OF THE NUMBER
OF WOOD PRODUCTS THAT
LEAVE NORTHERN ONTARIO IN
A RAW STATE, SO TO SPEAK,
THEY'RE JUST CUT INTO
TWO-BY-FOURS, OR WHATEVER,
I THINK THAT THEY COULD BE
TAKEN BEYOND THAT STAGE
AND STILL TRANSPORTED
ECONOMICALLY
TO YOUR MAJOR
MARKET AREAS.
SO, A LIGHT INDUSTRY
OF THAT TYPE,
A MEDIUM MANUFACTURING
INDUSTRY I GUESS WE COULD
CALL IT, WOULD CERTAINLY
SUFFICE FOR THIS TOWN
AND WE DO HAVE
THE AREA FOR IT.
APART FROM THAT, THE MAJOR
DIRECTION THAT I THINK
WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
TO TAKE IS TOURISM.
WE ARE ON NUMBER
11 HIGHWAY,
IT'S THE MAJOR ROUTE INTO
NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO,
AT LEAST, AND WE HAVE AN
ABUNDANCE OF TRAFFIC
GOING THROUGH HERE AND
I THINK THAT WE HAVE
TO SEIZE UPON THIS.

A stand reads "Colonel Putter’s Mini Gof."

The caption changes to "Robbie Godden." Robbie is in his twenties, clean-shaven with blond hair. He’s wearing a white, gray and black T-shirt and dark patterned shorts.

Robbie says I COULDN'T FIND A JOB IN
LATCHFORD SO I TRIED
TO FIND A WAY TO CREATE
MY OWN JOB AND THIS
WAS PRETTY MUCH THE FIRST
IDEA I CAME UP WITH.
I WENT TO THE ROYAL BANK
IN NEW LISKEARD AND GOT
A STUDENT VENTURE LOAN FOR
3000 DOLLARS AND JUST BOUGHT
A BUNCH OF MATERIAL AND
FIGURED EVERYTHING OUT
TO SCALE ON A PIECE OF PAPER
AND GOT A FEW PEOPLE
FROM TOWN TO HELP US DIG UP
THE COURSES AND WHATNOT.
WE PREDICTED WE WOULD
BRING IN ABOUT 1000 DOLLARS
IN THE MONTH OF JUNE AND
WE'VE ALMOST DOUBLED THAT,
WE'VE BROUGHT IN ABOUT
1700 DOLLARS AND IT REALLY AMAZED
MYSELF AND THE REST
OF MY FAMILY.

Children play mini golf.

Robbie continues THE MINI-PUTT ITSELF IS
DOING A LOT BETTER
THAN WHAT I THOUGHT.
THE OUT-OF-TOWN BUSINESS
IS GREAT, IT'S FABULOUS.

[chattering]

Cecil says WELL, I THINK IT TAKES A
SPECIAL TYPE OF PERSON,
YEAH, THAT DON'T MIND
THE COLD THAT YOU CAN
GO OUT IN THE WINTER.
SEE, A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN'T
STAND THE COLD AT ALL.
A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN'T
STAND THE FLIES.
[laughing]
SO ACTUALLY, IT TAKES
A PERSON THAT CAN
STAND THAT AND PUT UP
WITH IT, YOU'VE GOT TO.
AND THEN ANOTHER THING,
YOU'VE GOT TO LIKE TO
ENJOY THE WINTERS, BECAUSE
IF YOU DON'T ENJOY THEM,
WELL, WHAT'S THE
USE IN STAYING?

Joan says FOR SOME STRANGE
REASON, OUR SUMMER VISIT
IN LATCHFORD BROUGHT
BACK MEMORIES OF
A BRIEF WINTER VISIT
TO PICKLE LAKE,
WHERE IT ALSO TAKES
A SPECIAL KIND.

Joan stands outside Pickle Lake Airport on a snowy day.

She continues I'M JOAN REED-OLSEN.
WHEN WE DECIDED TO COME
UP TO PICKLE LAKE
TO DO A PROGRAM,
PEOPLE SAID,
WELL, WHERE'S
PICKLE LAKE?
WELL, I CAN TELL YOU THAT
IT'S ABOUT 565 KILOMETRES
ALMOST DUE NORTH OF
THUNDER BAY; THAT MAKES
IT ABOUT 2000 KILOMETRES
NORTHWEST OF TORONTO.
THERE'S A POPULATION
OF ABOUT 300 TODAY.
NOW, THAT POPULATION
HAS FLUCTUATED
OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS.
THAT DEPENDED ON MINES
OPENING AND MINES CLOSING.
IT'S GONE FROM 300
TO 700 TO 800 UP TO
ABOUT 1200 AT THE PEAK.
NOW, IT'S DOWN
TO 300 AGAIN.
BUT, THERE ARE THINGS
HAPPENING HERE;
A LOT OF MINE
EXPLORATION GOING ON.
ONE PREDICTION SAYS
THAT POSSIBLY THIS TOWN
COULD GROW AS LARGE
AS TIMMINS, ONTARIO.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS,
NO ONE REALLY KNOWS
BUT THERE ARE PEOPLE
WHO LIVE AT PICKLE LAKE
WHO WOULDN'T THINK OF
LIVING ANYWHERE ELSE
AND I'D LIKE YOU TO
MEET SOME OF THEM.

Bill is in his sixties, with receding white hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing a green zip jacket.

Bill says MY NAME IS BILL COLVILLE
AND MY DAD CAME HERE
IN 1929 AND HE BROUGHT THE
FIRST AVIATION GAS IN HERE
FOR THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT
TO MAP THIS AREA,
JUST WITH A
PENCIL, SKETCH IT.
AND HE TOOK THE GAS
OUT TO THE ISLAND,
THAT FIRST ISLAND
THERE, THAT'S WHERE
THE GOVERNMENT HAD THEIR FIRST
LANDS AND FORESTS IT WAS.
THAT WAS IN '29 AND I
CAME UP IN '39 OF COURSE.
FIRST, WITH THE TRACTORS
AND THEN I CAME
ALSO UP WITH THE DOG
TEAM AND HORSES.

Patricia stands in the snow. She’s in her forties with short curly light brown hair. She’s wearing a long pink coat.

Patricia says MY NAME'S
PATRICIA COLVILLE,
MY MOTHER RAMONA AND
BILL AND I WAS BORN
IN PICKLE CROW AND I'VE
BEEN HERE OFF AND ON
OUT TO SCHOOL, BACK
WORKING, IN THE CITY.
BUT I'M BACK FOR A WHILE
NOW TO STAY, I GUESS,
MY MOM WANTS US TO RUN
THE HOTEL FOR HER.

Rolly is in his early forties, with a beard and short hair. He’s wearing a red woollen hat, a dark scarf and a purple snow jacket with a fur hood.

Rolly says HI, MY NAME'S
ROLLY McLEAR.
I'M THE WEATHER STATION
MANAGER HERE IN PICKLE LAKE
AND I'VE BEEN HERE IN
THIS CURRENT POSITION
FOR A YEAR-AND-A-HALF;
AND BEFORE THAT,
I SPENT THREE YEARS UP IN
THE HIGH ARCTIC DOING
MY TIME AS IT WERE,
GETTING EXPERIENCE.

Doug is in his late thirties, with black hair and clean-shaven. He’s wearing glasses and a blue snow jacket with a fur hood.

Doug says MY NAME IS DOUG MURRAY
AND I'VE BEEN IN PICKLE LAKE
FOR GOING ON
12 YEARS NOW.
I CAME UP IN AUGUST 1974,
SO I'VE SEEN A LOT
OF CHANGES HERE AND IN FACT,
MY FAMILY'S BEEN BORN HERE,
I'VE GOT THREE KIDS.

Brian and Mike stands in a snow-covered field. Brian is in his twenties, with blond hair. He’s wearing a black cap, a plaid jacket and dark trousers.

Brian says MY NAME'S BRIAN TESSIER,
I'M A PILOT FOR
CENTRAL AIR TRANSPORT
IN PICKLE LAKE.

Mike is in his mid- twenties, clean-shaven with short hair. He’s wearing a dark green snow jacket, gloves, a back cap and blue jeans.

Mike says MY NAME'S MIKE DIAMOND
AND I'M A PILOT
FOR CENTRAL AIR IN
PICKLE LAKE ALSO.

Lornette is in her sixties with light brown hair. She’s wearing glasses and a white, yellow, green and red striped zip jacket.

Lornette says MY NAME IS
LORNETTE BRAZEAU.
AND I'M HERE
FOR 41 YEARS.
I CAME UP HERE FOR THE DIAMOND
DRILLING PROSPECTING.

Koval stands by a large truck. He’s in his mid-sixties. He’s wearing a plaid cap, a long green coat and gloves.

He says IT'S KOVAL, K-O-V-A-L,
AND WE MOVED UP HERE
IN 1944 FROM SAVANT LAKE.
WE WERE ALL BORN
IN SAVANT LAKE.
DAD HAD WORKED HERE SINCE
THE MINES HAD STARTED.
HIS FIRST TRIP IN HERE
WAS IN 1928 WITH HORSES
AND I BELIEVE HE BROUGHT
IN A LOAD OF AV GAS
FOR PROVINCIAL AIR SERVICE.
I THINK THAT WAS HIS
FIRST TRIP IN AND THEN
AFTER THAT HE WENT INTO THE
TIMBER BUSINESS OUT HERE.
HE CUT THE FIRST
SHAFT TIMBER FOR
THE PICKLE CROW MINE
AND JUST CONTINUED ON.
WENT INTO TRACTOR
FREIGHTING
AND THEN INTO
THIS BUSINESS.
OUR MAIN HAUL IS
OUT OF WINNIPEG.
WE HAUL OUT OF THUNDER BAY,
BUT BEING THAT WINNIPEG
IS THE BIGGER CENTRE,
MOST OF THE GROCERIES,
THE FOOD STUFF,
COME OUT OF THERE.
WE HAUL, WE DO HAUL
HEAVY EQUIPMENT ALSO,
BULLDOZERS AND LOADERS.

Brian says WELL CENTRAL AIR AND THE
OTHER CARRIERS AROUND
IN PICKLE LAKE, THEY'RE
ACTUALLY CENTRAL
TO PROVIDING EVERYTHING FROM
THE FUEL, TO THE FOOD,
TO THE MAIL, TO
THE TRANSPORTATION
FOR THE NATIVE
COMMUNITIES UP NORTH
WHERE THERE ARE
NO ROADS.

Mike says ALSO, FOR THE INDIANS
THAT GET OUT IN THE BUSH
AND DO TRAPPING WHERE
THERE AREN'T RUNWAYS.
WE CAN GET IN THERE
ON FLOATS AND SKIS.
IT'S JUST THE ONLY
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
THAT CAN DO THAT.

Joan says IT WAS SOMETHING OF A
SHOCK TO WANDER THROUGH
A BEAUTIFUL RESIDENTIAL
DEVELOPMENT OF
EMPTY HOUSES AND TO VISIT
A DESERTED MINE SITE,
BOTH EVIDENCE OF A
HEALTHY PAST AND
A TROUBLED PRESENT.

Fast clips show abandoned equipment and houses covered in snow.

Bill says PICKLE CROW CLOSED
DOWN IN 1966.
AND THEY MOVED
ALL THE EQUIPMENT -
MOST OF THE MILL
EQUIPMENT CLOSE TO
BATCHAWANA BAY,
THE NAME OF THE MINE
WAS TRIBAG, THE BALL
MILL WENT DOWN THERE.
AND A LOT OF THE EMPLOYEES
WENT DOWN THERE TOO.

Doug says WHEN WE OPENED
THE OLD SCHOOL,
IT LOOKED LIKE WE WERE
REALLY GOING TO HAVE
A LONG-TERM THING OCCUR
WITH LARGER POPULATIONS
BECAUSE THEY TALKED
ABOUT UMEX LASTING FOREVER
AND MINERAL PRICES STAYING
HIGH AND WHAT HAVE YOU.
SO, IN THEIR FIVE-YEAR PLAN -
THEY HAVE TO HAVE FIVE YEARS
IN ADVANCE NOTICE TO
BUILD A SCHOOL UP HERE -
IN THEIR FIVE-YEAR PLAN
THEY HAD PLANNED FOR
A SCHOOL FOR 300 KIDS.
THE LITTLE SCHOOL THAT WE
TAUGHT IN OVER IN CENTRAL PAT
WASN'T QUITE BIG
ENOUGH FOR THAT.
SO THEY DECIDED THEY'D
BUILD THIS THING.
AND WHEN THIS
WAS BUILT,
IT WAS FINE FOR THE
FIRST YEAR WE WERE HERE.
WE HAD CLOSE TO
275 POPULATION AND THERE
WAS HOPES THAT MAYBE THE
POPULATION WOULD INCREASE
AND THE MINE WOULD STAYING
GOING; BUT IT HAPPENED THAT
THE POPULATION DROPPED AS
SOON AS UMEX CLOSED ITS DOORS.
AND SO HERE WE ARE
LEFT WITH A SCHOOL
WITH ALL THESE
CLASSROOMS AND WE'VE ONLY
GOT CLOSE TO 90 KIDS, WHICH
IS CERTAINLY A DIFFERENCE.
AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS
LOOK ACROSS THE STREET HERE
AND SEE THE HOUSES
THAT ARE BOARDED UP.
ALL THOSE HOUSES HAD PEOPLE
IN THEM AT ONE TIME.
WHEN THE SCHOOL POPULATION
DROPS, THE TEACHING STAFF DROPS.
WELL THERE WAS
ABOUT FOUR TEACHERS
THAT BECAME REDUNDANT
AND IT ENDED UP THAT
THE POPULATION CAUSED
PEOPLE TO LOSE THEIR JOBS
EVEN IN THE TEACHING;
AS WELL, THE MINE
HAD TO RELOCATE THEIR
PEOPLE AS WELL.

Koval says WELL RIGHT NOW IT'S VERY
ACTIVE HERE IN GOLD.
GOLD SEEMS TO BE
THE ONLY THING
THAT THERE'S ANY
INTEREST IN.
AND WE HAVE DIAMOND DRILLS
ALL AROUND US - NORTH,
SOUTHWEST, TO THE EAST -
THE OLD PICKLE CROW IS
BEING DRILLED AND SOME
QUITE GOOD RESULTS
COMING OUT OF IT.
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU
NOTICED THE MIDWEST
DRILLING AND THE
MORISSETTE DRILLING,
THEY'RE ALL AROUND HERE
GOING BACK AND FORTH AND
NEW PEOPLE COMING IN, NEW
PEOPLE EVERY DAY.
YOU DON'T KNOW WHO THEY
ARE, AND MINING PEOPLE,
YOU KNOW HOW
SECRETIVE THEY ARE.
YOU DON'T REALLY FIND OUT
TOO MUCH UNTIL THEY
MAYBE PULL A GOOD HOLE
AND THEN YOU'LL SEE IT
IN
THE NORTHERN MINER
BEFORE
THE STOCK STARTS TO GO.

Brian says WINTERTIME IN PICKLE
LAKE IS TRADITIONALLY VERY
SLOW FOR FLYING OPERATIONS
LIKE OURSELVES WHEN THERE
ARE NO TOURISTS AND THE
BIGGER AIRPLANES ARE DC-3s,
PRIMARILY THEY CAN
GET ON THE ICE AND IT
TAKES THE WORK AWAY FROM
THE SMALLER AIRPLANES
LIKE WE HAVE.
BUT THIS YEAR, DUE TO
THE EXPLORATION GOING ON
AROUND IT, WE'VE HAD AN
EXCEPTIONAL WINTER AND
I HOPE IT'S GOING TO
CONTINUE ON WITH ALL
THE BIG GOLD FINDS
AROUND HERE.

Rolly says I CAN SEE PICKLE LAKE
GETTING A LOT BIGGER.
AND COMMERCIALLY I CAN SEE
IT AS A VERY VIABLE PLACE
FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT
WE ARE SO FAR NORTH AND
THE NATURAL RESOURCES
EVERYWHERE ELSE
ARE BEING USED UP AT A
PRETTY ALARMING RATE.
AND EVER SINCE THE
HEMLO GOLD FIND DOWN
IN MATAWATCHAN A
FEW YEARS AGO,
THE WHOLE ATMOSPHERE FOR
MINERAL EXPLORATION
IN THE NORTHWEST HAS BECOME
A LOT MORE POSITIVE
AND THERE'S SO MANY
EXPLORATION AND SO MUCH
DRILLING GOING ON UP
HERE AND THERE'S A GOOD
POSSIBILITY WE'LL BE
SEEING SOME GOLD MINES
OPENING HERE IN
THE NEAR FUTURE.

Patricia says IT'S GOT A LOT MORE
TO OFFER THAN THE MORE
POPULATED, TOURIST AREAS
JUST SOUTH OF US, BECAUSE
YOU CAN DRIVE AND NOT SEE
A TOWN OR A BUILDING OR,
YOU KNOW, YOU CAN DRIVE
AND HAVE THE PEACEFULNESS,
NO ELECTRICITY AND YOU CAN
CAMP ANYWHERE YOU WANT TO.

Rolly says YOU'LL NEVER SEE BETTER
FISH THAN ANYWHERE,
YOU'LL NEVER SEE BETTER
HUNTING FOR THOSE OF US
SO INCLINED AND EVEN IF
YOU'RE NOT A HUNTER AND
FISHERMAN, YOU CAN CANOE
FOR DAYS AND DAYS WITHOUT
SEEING A WATER-SKIER
OR A POWER BOAT,
A SUMMER COTTAGE, ANY
NOISE OR MARINAS.
YOU'VE GOT WHOLE LAKES
AND RIVERS TO YOURSELVES.
YOU COME UP ON
A BEAVER DAM,
THE BEAVERS SORT
OF LOOK AT YOU.
THEY'RE NOT REALLY
THAT AFRAID
AND THAT'S WORTH A LOT;
THE AIR IS CLEAN.
AND WE DON'T HAVE
THE O'KEEFE CENTRE,
OR THE ROY THOMPSON
HALL UP HERE,
BUT THE COMMUNITY HALL
HERE IN TOWN PROBABLY GETS
JUST AS MUCH USE, ON A
SMALLER SCALE, OF COURSE.
AND IF YOU GET
STUCK IN A DITCH,
IT'LL TAKE TWO SECONDS,
THE FIRST VEHICLE
THAT COMES BY WILL
HELP PULL YOU OUT.

Brian says UP HERE IT'S YOU'RE
YOUR OWN BOSS.
THERE'S NO ONE LOOKING
OVER YOUR SHOULDER HERE,
SO IF YOU WANT
TO LEARN QUICK,
YOU'VE GOT TO BE
ABLE TO PERFORM.
THERE'S NO ONE TO BABY
YOU ALONG AND THERE'S
NO BETTER PLACE
TO LEARN TO FLY.

Mike says AND THERE'S MORE
OPPORTUNITY TOO BECAUSE
IF YOU STAY IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO WHERE EVERYONE
WANTS TO STAY, THEN YOU
HAVE MORE COMPETITION.
HERE, I THINK YOU GET
ADVANCED QUICKER
AND DO MORE ON YOUR OWN.

Lornette says I'M HERE BECAUSE IT'S A
QUIET PLACE AND YOU CAN
MAKE YOUR GOOD LIVING AND
THE NICE FRESH AIR AND
NICE FRESH FISH TO EAT AND
I GET EVERYTHING THE SAME,
JUST VERY EASY TO GO NOW,
THEY HAVE A DOCTOR
AND NURSE UP HERE.
VERY SATISFIED.

The sun sets.

The end credits roll.

Rolly says IT'S ALWAYS BEEN MINING
AND AVIATION, YOU KNOW,
THE MAIN THING IS
THE MINES, BUT WHEN
THE BIG MINES SHUT DOWN, IT
WAS THE AVIATION COMPANIES
HERE THAT KEPT THINGS
GOING, AND NOW THE MINING
IS COMING BACK HERE, THE
AVIATION IS STILL HERE,
IT'LL ALWAYS BE HERE,
BECAUSE WE ARE THE
END OF THE ROAD.

Producer/Director, Joan Reed-Olsen.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1987, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: It Takes a Special Kind