Our historical activities are all about history and culture, and colourful historical characters. There is simply so much history and culture in Haileybury, Cobalt and the entire Temiskaming region that we can use real historical characters in all of our historical evenings and scavenger hunts. It is a lot a fun as people can actually research the historical characters on the web and learn at the same time about our rich history.
Our Historical Characters
Over the years, we have developed over 60 historical characters that we used at our events. For some events, characters are regrouped based on a common denominator. The list below will give you a brief introduction of a few of them.
At the time of the Cobalt silver rush, people worked very hard. Leisure nevertheless occupied an important place. Having no television, “live” sports like hockey, the baseball, and horse racing provided the entertainment enjoyed by minors. The mining companies were paying some employees to play on their teams. It was also an opportunity for the mine managers and the millionaires to bet. The bet of $ 40 000 Noah Timmins on a single hockey game, in the early 1900’s, is an excellent example of this madness. Athletes of that time include the hockey players Art Ross and Leo Labine, the heavyweight boxer Jack Monroe and fencing enthusiast HW Bernard Hartley.
This group includes people who have contributed to the development of the Temiskaming region by ensuring the health of individuals. They were very brave during outbreaks of thyroid and the great Fire of 1922. This group includes Dr. William Henry Drummond, the nurse Annie Elizabeth Saunders, Dr. Hector Joyal and the pharmacist Phil Jory.
The prospecting business was not as prestigious as it might seem to be. Prospectors had to work long hours in deplorable conditions and away from their families, hoping to find the vein that would change their lives. Despite this reality, the Cobalt silver rush attracted hundreds of prospectors who arrived in the Temiskaming region from all over the world. Some of these famous explorers of the region: Fred Larose, Tom Hebert, Benny Hollinger and Sandy McIntyre.
The Cobalt silver rush brought thousands of people, each dreaming of becoming rich. Several of them had money to invest and were attracted to the silver rush. Many of the wealthy of the time lived in Haileybury, Northern Ontario’s posh city of the time. In 1909, there were 32 millionaires in Haileybury! A few millionaires in this group include: Sir William Henry Pellatt, Michael John (MJ) O’Brien, John Rudolphus J.R. Booth and Sir Harry Oakes.
The towns of Cobalt and Haileybury experienced an incredible development in the space of just a few years. Urgent need for services was badly felt. A team of leading entrepreneurs of the region emerged: A.J. Murphy (A.J. Murphy Lumber Company, Ontario Brick Company), George Taylor (George Taylor Hardware in Cobalt and Wabi Steel in New Liskeard), George Bagshaw (first manager of the Union Bank in Haileybury) and Joe Legris (lawyer, Haileybury Hotel, Haileybury Lumber Company, mayor of Haileybury).
In the early twentieth century, public transportation was essential because the automobile was not yet available. Different modes of transportation have played a role in the development of communities of Timiskaming such as steamers, streetcar and barges. Here are the captains: Captain Blondin of the Meteor, Captain Jack Cobb of the P.J. Murer, Alex J. McCrae (the first streetcar conductor) and W.B. Russel (engineer for the Temiskaming & Northern Ontario Railway).
With the Cobalt silver rush and thousands of people arriving almost overnight, communities needed visionaries. These leaders have been instrumental to provide guidance, which was often based on their beliefs and respective expertise, despite the difficult environment. Here are a few of the leaders: Joseph E. Rogers, Clem Foster, Big Jim McGuire and Ossian Edward Walli.
The Holy Family
The Catholic Church has played a major role in the development of the region from the Mission Saint-Claude in 1872. Passionate and flamboyant characters have left their mark such as Brother Moffet, Father Charles Paradis and Monsignor Alfred Elie Anicet Latulippe. It is important not to forget the role the Sisters of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary had on the education of Francophone girls. Members of the Holy Family include: Brother Joseph Moffet, Father Charles-Alfred-Marie Paradis , Mère Supérieure of the Haileybury Sainte-Marie Academy and Bishop Elie-Anicet Latulipe.
The Timmins Family
The Timmins brothers arrived in Haileybury at the beginning of the Cobalt silver rush. Henry and Noah Timmins were brothers of Timmins Louise Ferland, spouse of Arthur Ferland. The brothers certainly marked the history of the community before leaving to find gold in the city named after them, Timmins. Here are the members of the Timmins family: Noah Timmins, Henry Timmins, Jules Timmins and Alphonse Paré.
The McFarlane Family
Family of the famous author Leslie McFarlane who wrote over 20 books for the series of the Hardy Boys and have sold over 50 million copies. Several books have been inspired by his life at Haileybury. His father was a director at the Haileybury School during the great fire while his son is Brian McFarlane, renowned commentator for Hockey Night in Canada.
The family of Charles Havelock Taylor
One of the greatest inventions bequeathed by the Colbal silver rush was the compressed air project of Charles Havelock Taylor. The invention of the process and the Ragged Chutes project is still today one of the engineering marvel that took place. Ragged Chutes was the world’s largest compressed air plant. The family had a very interesting journey in Northern Ontario and you will learn a bit more about this journey. Members of his family include Helen Marie Pye, Eva Turner and Robert Turner Andrea.
The Farr Family
Charles Cobbold C.C. Farr was the founder of the town of Haileybury. All over the community we can feel the presence of the founder and his wife, Georgina Louise Farr Probyn. Like many, this family was not spared by the Great Fire of 1922. Here are a few of his family members: Louise Georgina Probyn Farr, Clara Probyn Cobbold, Emily Ruth Kipawa Farr.
The Arthur Ferland Family
Arthur and Louise Timmins Ferland did build the house of the Presidents Suites in 1906 after making his fortune with the Cobalt silver. He was also hotelier, owner of the Matabanick hotel in Haileybury and involved in politics. Discover their fascinating history through the family. Here are the family members: Arthur Ferland, Louise Timmins Ferland, Florence Ferland and Marie Lucie Ferland Fasken.
People would never expect people like Sir Wilfrid Laurier, William Lyon Mackenzie King, and Dame Emma Albini Lajeunesse to be linked with the history of the region. You will find out during your historical event what are the connections.
Our historical events with real historical characters are a great way to spend fun time with your group or family. Believe us, it works every time! We have done it for groups from 8 to 60 people. These historical activities are available to our Presidents’ Suites guests. It is part of having a memorable stay in our beautiful Temiskaming region.