Canada, oh Canada!

That’s a song–right? Nevermind.

The ‘never seems to be ending’ project of scanning my Shepard grandparent’s old family pictures has been fun and interesting, although admittedly sometimes a bit tedious*. But, I am really getting a chance to look them over and put together a picture timeline of their life, and even get ideas for future blog posts. Or, just remember the places that they lived and my own visits there. Some of the pictures are also triggering my research itch, because of questions I have about the time, or place, or who is in them.

I recently scanned more Canada pics from Dick and Dad’s part of the collection, a couple of them, thankfully, have been labeled ‘Cummings Lake.’ If I had the grandparents around to ask, I could find out exactly where this cottage was, (although I do enjoy putting the clues together, and solving the mystery myself). So the location has been narrowed down to Cummings Lake in Thessalon, Canada. Now the question is– where on the lake, exactly. Having the photograph below helps to narrow it down some more:

30289202257_8a297e3d57_z
Dick and Dad’s view of the dock below the cottage. Taken in 1954. This, by the way is a great picture.

I can narrow the location down because I found the following picture at the Grand Falls Camp website when searching online for information on Cummings Lake:

Grand Falls Camp Cummings Lake Thessalon

The cliff face in the background matches exactly the cliff in the first picture. This location is stated by the website as being between Lakes Tunnel and Cummings. When using Google map’s street view, I find this exact spot on Hwy 129 going North. It is facing Lake Cummings. Which means that the cottage was in the area on the topographic map below. It is difficult to tell where exactly, or even generally, from this view though.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 12.41.09 PM

image
Google street view from highway.
Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 1.06.47 PM
The arrow is pointing to the cliff area we see in all the pictures.

Looking at a larger overview of the area, I’m thinking that the cottage was, or is, if it is still there, on the big bump out of land above the falls area.

We have lots of photos of the cottage and the area around the lake, so I created an album of just those pictures at my flickr site (well I hope they are all from the cottage and lake area). Seeing the pictures and writing about this topic has given me an urge to drive up there next summer and visit. It is only a 7-8 hour drive, and I have my passport now!

39726793121_95c992d89b_z

My grandfather, Bill Shepard, wrote lots of letters mentioning his parents cottage. They usually talked how envious he was, because he never got to go up and enjoy all that fishing everyone was always going on about. I know an uncle went there at one point when he was a kid. Other than Herman and Ruth, who else made the trip?

 

*I won’t complain too much about all that scanning, as we are fortunate to have so many family pictures that that been passed down. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

Advertisements

July 5, 1954 William Shepard to His Parents

6 July 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Very happy to hear from you. and also happy to hear that you are all well and having a good time.

Yes-I received the box of candy and thank you very much. It was sure tasty. [Hey Gramps aren’t you on a diet?]

By the time you get this – I will have about 7 more months to go. That isnt so long is it? Time is going by so fast now that I’m busy. I have all this office work I can do and I am learning jet fighters in my spare  ? time. Should get 20 hours flying time in jets this month. Still instructing in the C-47 too so it keeps me humping.

You tell Kenny that he had better take time out to write me a good letter because Im his old man and I said for him to do it!

That cartoon of the boat reminds me of our little 12 footer & the 25

[page 2]
horsepower Johnson. The time has come to go to bed so Ill have to close. Have fun.

Bill

 

June 21, 1954 William Shepard to Parents and Son

21 June 54

Dear Dick, Dad & Kenny:

When you get this you will have had time to get settled. How have you found everything at the cottage? I suppose that you are eating some nice golden brown lake trout by now. What I wouldnt give for some right now.

Work is heavy here. Im trying to do my regular work, and get my jet schooling in too. Start flying them next week. Im happy about it because they are easier to fly, and faster too.

I have been watching my weight lately with the help of the Flight surgeon and weigh less than anytime since OCS in 1942. Im at 184 now, and have 6 more pounds to be to my proper weight of 178#. It feels so good to be where I should be.

Kenny dont you make the mistake I did and eat that little bit too much of fat & fried food I never watched it and was always about 30 pounds overweight. The Doc says a person is healthier when

[page 2]
they stay slim, and who wants to be unhealthy when they dont have to be?

I know I dont have to tell you to enjoy Canada, but dont overwork up there.

Ill try to write next week. Cant before then as I will be in an air-ground school which teaches us how to support the troops with our F-86’s. Ill be with the army for the next few days. (roughing it.) Well goodbye for now.

Bill.

May 27, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

 

[I believe that Gramps is in Korea at the time he is writing these letters.]

27 May 1954

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter of the 17th a few days ago. Im not much at writing outside the family. When I write Lois and each of the kids once in a while Im wrote out!

It sounds like everything will be going North in June, so this is the last letter Ill write to you at Park St. The address is Route 3, Thessalon Ont., isnt it?

I have been receiving the Sunday papers and they are sure welcome. I read every want add!

Had a touch of the flu for several days, but it is all cleared up by now. The next time I get to Tokyo I want to get some things and send them home. Ill send your present at that time. Ill try to get you something to wear but keep your fingers crossed.

The rain, real hard rain hasnt started yet. It is suppose to about now. Everything is green, the rice is about knee high. I have

[page 2]
a lot of pictures on the way home now, so when they get there you can see how some of the things look.

If Kenny goes north with you, he will have a good time, I know. I wish that there was a way for me to spend a little time up there. Just doesnt seem to work out.

4009345592_5238bb9812_z
This is Gramps in Korea.

 

Take care of yourselves. Ill write you in Canada.

 

Your Son
Bill

P.S. The fudge was good, in case I didnt tell you- Everyone in the barracks liked it too (too much)

April 6, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

16 April 54

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter yesterday. Even if I am out of ink, Ill write. Lois has probably kept you informed of what little news I have.

Work is  not very heavy. When I get my files straightened out the way I like them I wont have too much to do. That is, unless I get another job too.

The time goes fast enough, as there is plenty to do. I seem to be getting 9-10 hours sleep every night & feel like a million. The food is very good. Weather is typical spring weather. In fact it is hot today.

I have met quite a few people I knew previously, but that is to be expected

[page 2]
expected. Ive been in the service almost 12 years now.

I suppose that you will be going to Canada soon. It will be time to fish in a few weeks!

When I get home next year it should be about April 1. If it isnt too cold I would like for Lois & I to go up for a week or 10 days. I cant remember when we have gone on a trip by outselves. Its our own fault I suppose because we were parents so young.

I hope that you & dad are feeing OK. Take it easy. Ill write gain sooner that you think! Not a year between letters any more!

Goodbye for now
Bill

March 28, 1954 William Shepard to parents

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1954_03_28

28 March 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Things have slowed down enough for me to write a letter now. I have been managing to write Lois, and that is about all.

I had a good trip over, leaving 17 March and arriving on the 20th. I rode in a Lockheed Constellation, which is one of the more luxurious planes. We stopped 6 hours in Honolulu and one hour on Wake Island. I spent three days in Japan and arrived in Rosia[?] on 24 March.

Was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing at Osass Kova[?]. They call this base K-55. I am communications — Electronics Staff Office for the wing. They have F-86s, however, I am flying C-47s and letting the young fellows have the jets.

I am just settled down now and ready to put in my time and today is Sunday, so Ill close to go to church.

Bill

July 7, 1953 Herman Shepard To Parents

 

 

Columbus, Ohio
July 7 1953

Dear Dick, Dad & Ken:

How are you folks getting along? the weather here has been mostly hot and stuffy. According to the Omar Weather man on T.V. you have been having much cooler weather than here. We were glad to hear that you found everything O.K. How is the motor running? I kinda wondered about it as I didn’t get to try it out before you left. Ralph & Johnie [his brothers-in-law] Kring were to Harbor View with us over the 4th and he brought the Old Sea King along but it still wasn’t any better. Ralph is going to work on it some more, maybe he’ll run across the right solution some day. I’ve given it up for lost. Our boat broke loose in a storm last week, but didn’t do any damage to the boat, but did tear several places in the cover. Mr. Daymon saved the day by going out and retrieving the boat for me. Simon & Hazel are not coming over for their vacation, we received a letter from them yesterday and they gave 18 dozen different reasons why they couldn’t make it now. I was in hopes they could come over for a while.

[page 2]
Dosh & Burch [Aunt and Uncle on his Mother’s side] were over to Parkersburg over the 4th and I guess every body is OK as of now. Hod & Edna [Aunt and Uncle on his Mother’s side] went down south for their vacation so guess they weren’t so interested in going to Canada after all.

Max Hinkle and family were camping up at the State Park at East Harbor over the 4th so he took his boat and I took mine along with Johnie & Ralph and we went out to Middle Bass. We found Bess’s place and talked to her for a while. I enjoyed the trip a lot and hope to go again soon maybe we can do some fishing over around the islands. Ruth caught a 2 1/2 lb. cat fish week before last which is some what of a record us as far as Lake Erie fishing is concerned. That about all the news I can think of now so will turn it over to Ruth for a few lines, hope you are not catching all the fish leave a few for starter etc.

Herm

September 3, 1952 Herman Shepard to Parents

Columbus Ohio
Sept. 3 1952

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we arrived home okay we had dinner in St. Ignace and got across the straight about 2 P.M. We took Route 23 down to Standish where we stopped to ice the fish which lasted until we got home today. We ate supper in Vasser and got to Harbor View at 12:30 A.M. Every thing at Harbor View was O.K. we left there at 11:45 AM 11:45 A.M. today and arrived home about 3 P.M. found everything here OK. the fish were still frozen solid when we got here.

Charlie & Julie surly had a wonderful time and want to thank you for everything. Charlie said he forgot to thank you for the bread you sent home with us.

I surly hate to go back to work in the morning but at least I have some swell memories to take along with me. Ruth & I really enjoyed ourselves and want to thank you for the swell time. We all talked about different little incidents happened while we were there. Every time we eat one of those fish we will be catching it all over again.

We are going to take Ruths mom and dad out a couple of the Pike tonight and get all the latest news from Gahana. Also we are going to take Ralph a loaf of bread. Ruth is now getting supper and we are having bread and tea.

So will write you later when I get all the news Ruth & Herm (over)

[page 2]
P.S.
We will call Edw to nite if we can get him that is find him home.

I just called aunt Dosh and she and Burch are okay. She mailed your check. Pauline & Lloyd & Jamie were over for Labor Day weekend. Jenny started to school this week. Brooks & Zara & the kids were up Sunday evening. Tommy just got over a bad case of poison ivy. The baby is getting real cute.

Ada wrote that Aunt Lib isn’t a bit good. Her heart doesn’t pump enough blood and she blacks out.

Well I guess this is about all the news. So will close. Ruth.

The fish kept swell. The frozen ones were stiff and the iced ones were so cold I could hardly handle them when I put them in freezer.

We had chilly weather all the way down. The rain was behind us most all the way. Only got in one little sprinkle.

Shirley says it’s been cool here in the last four days, but it sure was hot last week.

Margie was down home last weekend. She said Opel almost died from a miscarriage. She had twins at five months. They couldn’t tell for a while if she was dead or alive, but she pulled through. She must’ve been at the hospital because Margie said she was at home now and doing alright. The doctor said she must have an operation as soon as she can stand it. I hope she does before it is too late.

Everyone else in W Va was okay I will call Margie tomorrow, as I won’t have a chance to-nite. I want to go out home write. The bread is not spoiled Ha! Ha !Love Ruth.

We sure had a good time.

July 31, 1952 Herman Shepard to Parents

 

Columbus Ohio
July 31, 1952

Dear Dick & Dad:-

While Ruth is busy preparing a few frys (9) for the freezer I thought it would be a good idea for me to write you a line or two. As you already know we arrived home O.K. but tired. My back was giving me some trouble, but it was not caused from building the dock or anything like that. I believe I must have wrenched it while I was loading our bags and etc. the Saturday we went out as I didn’t notice any pain befor that time. Well enough for that. What I would like to know, is the dock still standing? I hope so. Ruth O’Farrell called after she got home and told us what a wonderful time they had and how much fun you all had playing cards. I’m glad they cut you some wood and left you the “snake bite” We went up to Harbor View the week end following out trip from Canada and found every thing OK. except the grass and weeds about knee high. I had to use the sickle first and the lawn mower next to get it cut. While I was in the act of cutting the stuff who should drive in but Lydia [Dick’s sister?] & Charlie – so Charlie jumped in and helped me do the job or it

[page2]
would have taken me all day to finish the job. I took them for a nice boat ride befor they went home. Charlie starts his vacation Aug. 10 and they have an apt. rented at Bay Bridge for a week so we are going to have them over to the cottage for that week end. I think the fishing bug has taken hold of them as they said they hadn’t been to church for 5 Sundays. Boy that fishing bug is the cause of a lot of peoples down fall also the down fall of your pocket book. We could buy fish a durn sight cheaper Ha Ha But who wants to buy fish when its so much fun to catch them. Charlie Hoff & June also came up to Harbor View the same week end and I finaly got Charlie & June in the boat and now he is crazy about it. We are planning on having them for the Labor Day week end which should be a lot of fun providing the weather stays O.K. Speaking of week ends they are getting scarce. There just are not enough of them in a summer, this coming week end we a having Johnie & Juanita Gatea and the 3rd Sunday of Aug we want to have Ralph, Lou and the kids, so that don’t leave to many.

[page3]
You should hear Ralph & Johnie talk about that trip, you wouldn’t think there was anywhere else in the world like Cummins Lake and Johnie said boy that good bread he hasn’t forgotten that yet. He was telling me just today that he sure would like to be back there right now also he liked the little sand beach. I talked to Unk & Elzie and they said if there house is finished in time that they would like to go up for awhile they will let you know if they can make it. Aunt Doshie called today and says she is getting along OK I think moving & etc. must have caused her trouble. They were down to visit Brooks one night last week so if she can get out a little I believe that she is getting better. Burch seems to be getting along OK at work. I hope he likes it this time as I think he can do as well there as any place. Now is our slack season as far as grease work is concerned it will probably stay about the same till Oct. when we start to sell winter change over service, then he should really make some nice wages.

Bess brought Eddie down last Monday a week ago and he stayed till Friday. Ruth took him down town and I guess he

[page 4]
had a great time riding the escalator at Lazaruse and Morehouse – also he and I worked in the dark room one night. Vaughn & Lela are home now and are supposed to start back tomorrow they are all OK and look the same only Sandy is getting a little lanky as kids do at that age. I told them of your intentions of going to the coast this fall and they want you to be sure and look them up.

Its a good thing that I didn’t know Mr. Sherron was a hardware man or I would have talked a leg off him, maybe I’ll have to look him up yet. The store I was interersted in was sold just the other day maybe its for the best according to Mr Sherron. I was trying to get a loan on our house for additional money and while the Westerville Saving & Loan was making up there minds what to do the place sold. So now I’m watching for another deal. You know me Andrew H. Brown always got a “big deal on”. I got the color pictures back and every one turned out good. (lucky me) I haven’t printed the black & whites as yet. Hope to do it soon.

[page 5]
Doc & Sue we down from Pittsburg last Sat & Sun although we didn’t get to see them Doshie says the are OK and that Doc’s bald head shines like a beacon in the night.

Well the Conventions are both over and now all we have to do is listen to all the Bull slinging for the next few months I think I’ll still for “Taft” HaHa. may the best man win.

They had a bad storm at Harbor View it must have been the same day you had yours only the wind there was out of the West. there was quite a bit of damage to boats & etc. Andy Parker had 5 to get away from his dock. I don’t know wheather it damaged any of his or not. Mine came through O.K. although I did have to reset my stakes & etc. as it bent the stake at the front of the boat. Well I think Ive about hit all the high spots so will sign off for this time.

H.O. & Ruth

P.S. Take good care of your selfs

May 13, 1952 Herman (& Ruth) to parents

Columbus Ohio
May 13, 1952

Dick & Dad:-

How did you find everything up in the North country? Has the lake frozen over again? It has been cold and damp ever since you left. We didn’t go to Harbor View last week end as the weather was to bad. We went to church and while in Westerville stopped in at 22 W. Park and found everything O.K. also stole a quart of milk we found in the refrigerator. I finaly finished painting the basement floor so that it is one of my projects completed. Just like Ruth says I start to many different projects before I finish one. I think I’ll try finishing up a few before I start any new ones for a change.

I am having the cover for your boat repaired and reshaped so it will fit the boat also I’m having a hood made at the rear end of it so the motor will be covered as well as the boat all in one cover. Bessie the woman that makes our seat covers at the shop is doing the job.

[page 2]
We received your cards and was glad to hear about the motor. I tried different plugs in the motor but that didn’t help any Im glad you still have the extra oil in that case, and hope we never need it. How is everyone the Beckers & Forders tell them we said Hello.

I am trying to arrange a week of my vacation for the week end of July 4th and the following week which would give me about 10 days. We thought that would be about the time you folks would be going back up, you could start a few days ahead of us and take the boat with you then we could start after work on July 3 and drive straight through. The only catch I can think of right now is that I might get into a jam at the Straite waiting to cross. As soon as I get the details worked out and decide on that date I’ll get in touch with Edw. Ralph Kring has his vacation the first 2 weeks of July so maybe we can work out something with him. I’ll need some one to help drive if we go straight through. That’s about all the news for now so till I hear from you. So long.

With Love Ruth & Herm