Posts Tagged ‘Lambton County History’

‘Voices from Lambton’: End of prohibition, part 2


The Scott Act provided for a local-option statute at the city or county level which could only come into effect when approved by voters during a municipal plebiscite. Lambton’s only Scott Act regime began on 1 May 1886 and lasted for three years, causing great despair and loss of sales for local hotel-keepers. Here in […]

‘Voices from Lambton’s Past’: The founder of Canada’s first commune, part 1


By BOB McCARTHY Thanks to Phyllis Humby, author of the story last week about the Maxwell Church, an old place of worship that used to be in Camlachie. I invite anyone else who might have a story or an idea for a story about Lambton to contact me by e-mail. The town of Maxwell […]

‘Voices from Lambton’s Past’: the Labatt kidnapping, part 3

Faethorne House-library-2011

n part one of this story, four men kidnapped John Sackville Labatt in August 1934 as he drove alone in his REO motorcar, along the Egremont Road, heading for his office in London. In part two, while one man took Labatt’s car and a ransom note to London, three of the men drove Labatt up […]

‘Voices from Lambton’s Past’: Our very own world-famous magician

stewart james

By BOB McCARTHY Did you know that a world famous magician lived his entire life here along the St Clair River in Courtright? The house he lived in was called Aberystwyth, named after the place of birth of his great grand-father in Wales. Stewart James (1908?1996) was a life-long resident of Courtright who refused […]

‘Voices from Lambton’s Past’: Part one of the story of two storms


By BOB McCARTHY Along this southern shore of Lake Huron, we have experienced many vicious storms over the last two centuries, including the hurricane in May of 1953 and the great storm of November 1913. What might it have been like to live through either one or both of those storms? Perhaps we can […]

St. Clair Township Heritage Corner: The Hargrove General Store


The Hargrove General Store was built by J. C. Clark in the 1850s, and during over 130 years of operation, it changed hands many times. Mr. Clark ran it as a general store for a number of years before he moved to Sarnia, at which time it was taken over by Duncan Gamble. In the […]

‘Voices of Lambton Past’: Part 1 of the story of the Talfourd brothers

Talfourd plaque

By Charlotte Vidal Nesbit Charlotte Vidal Nesbit, a grand-daughter of Captain Richard Emeric Vidal, R.N., contributed history based articles to the Sarnia Observer during the 1930s. Born here in the St. Clair River District, in 1908 she organized the Women's Canadian Historical Society in Sarnia and served as its president until at least her 90th […]

‘Voices of Lambton’s Past’: Part 2 of the ‘First Commercial Oil Well’ story


By BOB McCARTHY Lambton Shield Hugh Nixon Shaw originally started out in the oil fields of Oil Springs with two partners, Harv Smiley and Jack Coryell, drilling on one acre of land leased from William Sanborn, an absentee American entrepreneur. Their agreement was to give one-third part of any earnings they might have to Mister […]

‘Voices from the Past’: The first commercial oil well is drilled, part 1


By BOB McCARTHY Lambton Shield Hugh Nixon Shaw came to Oil Springs as a Methodist preacher anxious to find his fortune in the oil fields.  By the fall of 1860, he had become a laughing stock.  Many attempts to find oil ended up dry.  The deepest find to that date was about 65 feet, a […]

‘Voices from the Past’: The sinking of the Kate Bully

michigan-map-route-Kate Bully

By BOB McCARTHY Lambton Shield The history of any community along the Great Lakes includes many stories about storms and the horrible losses in ships, cargo and lives that can result when these storms suddenly appear. On October 4, 1869, there was a severe storm on northern Lake Michigan that caused a ship to become […]