By William A. Warnick
Published Aug 18, 2004
in The Dunnville Chronicle
I begin this month’s article I must write a few words of thanks to the
many volunteers it took to put on the Port Maitland Festival of
History. I want to name each and every one of you, but the list is too
long and unfortunately my readers will soon tire. You know who you are
and how much you meant to the success of the Festival. It seems each
year one volunteer gets stuck with more than the others and is asked to
perform larger tasks than the rest. This year that honour fell to Tara
Allen, who in the last three weeks before the festival must have
thought "is this all there is " to life! The Festival would mean
nothing if it were not for the many participants who came to show and
demonstrate their hobbies, work skills, and curiosities. A big thanks
goes to you as well. We had 35 sponsors who provided us with the cash
to make it work. Thank you sponsors. Finally, we owe a thank you to all
those people who came to see what we had to exhibit. How many came is
still a bit of a mystery. We are using the number 1,700, but we are
very comfortable in the knowledge there were many more.
In my June column, I wrote about the cable ferry which once carried horses and buggies, freight, and passengers across the river at Port Maitland. In the article, I wrote of a Mr. Martin who presented some challenges to the ferry's operation. Who this Mr. Martin was, is not clear and no amount of research on my part has yet discovered him. I know no more today than in June. But life has a way of twisting and turning. If I am fortunate those twist and turns work for me. Shortly after submitting my article I had a phone conversation with Ann Marie Flatt who put her husband Pete on the line. Pete relayed a message to me from his dad Joe who recently met a lady named Corkey Eastman. Corkey is a daughter of Norm Martin, the one-time owner of the Maitland Arms Hotel at Port Maitland. Corkey whose given name is Jane Norma, left her email address asking Joe to see I received it as she wished to know if I had any stories or photos of the old Hotel.
Corkey and I have now become email buddies. She lives in California and came home this summer for a visit. Did Corkey know who my mysterious Mr. Martin was. No! But after a few emails he was soon forgotten as we found bigger fish to fry. Corkey provided me with much of her genealogy. It seems she and Ann Marie are 5th cousins once removed. In last month’s article I told you how everyone in small towns were related, and how a few years back when they could make the connection it was through their grandparents, but now it is through their great, great, great grandparents. In this case the common ancestors for Corkey and Ann Marie are Matthew Lymburner and Margaret Kairms. Corkey is their great granddaughter times four, while Ann Marie is a great granddaughter times five. If that was not enough, I discovered Corkey and I have a common relative in her Aunt Madeline Roy, formerly Madeline Bessey, wife of Lloyd Roy. Mind you Madeline is my 3rd cousin once removed, but what the heck! Corkey's sister Bunny married Stan Case, a fellow I wrote about a few months back. He is the uncle to Jim Case of Lowbanks and; well the list goes on and on!
And then there is Corkey's great aunt Essie Martin nee Calvert from Attercliffe. My sister Margo married Dave Calvert and Dave is always pestering me about my not using his name in my columns near enough! If he can tell me where Essie fits into his family, I will use it again!
A number of years ago I kept some notes on a Captain William Quider of Canboro, who was a Canal boat captain on the Feeder Canal as well as . . . Well you read his obituary found in The Reform Press of 1892. For nearly half a century Captain Quider has been known throughout this region of the country, and especially to those connected with the trade of the river, canal and lake. He was a ship carpenter by trade, and built many of the scows and other vessels which in times past navigated these waters. He had been at various times owner and master of steamboats, schooners, barges, scows and other craft plying between the Grand River and Buffalo. He was out in the terrific gale of November 6th, 1862, in which five scows in the tow of the R. L. HOWARD were wrecked and several of the men on board drowned In his little schooner, the BELLE BRANDON, built by himself, he weathered the storm and arrived in Buffalo with crew and cargo all safe. He was esteemed a very skilful seaman, and as a pilot on the river and along the Canadian side of the lake he had very few superiors.
Captain Quider is Corkey's grt. grt. Grandfather. It has and continues to be my hope to learn more about Captain Quider. He carried freight through the Feeder Canal for many years and it always seemed to me that among other ships masters and crews who plied the waters of our region, Captain Quider and the others should not be forgotten.
Janice Case nee Chalmers, Joan Bastien nee Siddall, Jim Dickhout in background Festival of History July 24, 2004
Bill Cauley and wife Joan nee Boyle Festival of History July 24, 2004
Des Rasch Festival of History July 24, 2004
Geroge Madsen and wife on left Festival of History July 24, 2004
Ian Bell Festival of History July 24, 2004
Wayne Siddall, Jim Case Festival of History July 24, 2004
If you have items you wish written about or pictures you would be willing to loan, please drop me a note. Let me know how you feel about these articles.
William (Bill) Arthur Warnick - email