Hearst, Cochrane, & Northern Ontario
Articles in this section are Copyright (©) by Ernie Bies, Unless Otherwise Noted.
Ernie Bies currently lives in Ottawa. He was brought
up in the tiny Slovak community of Bradlo, about 10km south of Hearst, Ontario. Most of these articles have been previously
published -- mainly in HighGrader Magazine, and also
in the Kapuskasing Northern Times,
Kanadsky Slovak, Le Nord, Ottawa Citizen,
Cochrane Times Post,
and several others. He is working on a book about the history of Hearst, as well as on a collection of short stories. He complains that he has gathered so
much material that he is swamped and hardly knows where to start. Most of these menu items link to ".pdf" files supplied by Ernie.
(One item added July 4, 2021)
Join the Hearstory Facebook group.
Jan and Anna (Huckova) Bies in 1975.
- My Parents' Journey To Becoming Canadians.
Ernie's father, Jan Bies, left Czechoslovakia in 1927. Travelling by train from Quebec City,
he ended up as a farm labourer, working for starvation wages in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Even so, he was able to save enough money to pay his two
brothers' fares to Canada. A story of overcoming hardship and adversity. Surnames mentioned:
Demoskoff, Desgrosseilliers, Habarda, Helman, Hinciar, Marcin, Ralk, Siska, Sobeck, Stefick, Teggin.
- Call To Duty, A Story of Courage. The story of Johnny Carrère of
Cochrane and his remarkable family. Surnames mentioned:
Baczinski, Boczar, Burgar, Carrère, Cournoyer, Dethridge, Eloy, Lane, Patack-Croutzet, Webb, Wright.
- Hearst Was Not St. Brigitte De Grant.
There has been a misconception that Hearst was originally called Ste. Brigitte de Grant. The record is corrected here.
- The Hearst Fire, July 1914. Four to five hundred people were made homeless by a forest fire
which was fed by piles of brush on the newly-cleared Hearst townsite. Relief trains were sent to rescue them. Surnames mentioned:
Anderson, Ballantyne, Belanger, Boucher, Brushey, Bryant, Cantin, Chalykoff, Cloutier, Davitsky, DeBrey, Dickinson, Drajanoff, Drajkoff,
Dresser, Egan, Ferguson, Giroux, Heygate, Houle, Irwin, Joanis, Johnson, Kinsey, Lafortune, Lawson, McDougall, McElligott, McManus, Ming,
O'Brien, O'Donnell, O'Gorman, Perrault, Petkoff, Powell, Raney, Reid, Sprickeroff, Topaloff, Turgeon, Vandette, Waters, West, Whitson, Young.
- The Story of Riverside Cemetery, Hearst.
First surveyed in 1921, although some people were buried there prior to that. Over 100 grave locations have been lost. With many
photos and copies of documents. Surnames mentioned in the text: Banks, Bies, Bryant, Bubnick, Douglas, Fournier, Irwin, Lanning,
MacKenzie, Powell, Tanguay, Woodward.
Surnames in the photo of the Unmarked Graves memorial plaque:
Alatorma, Alavo, Anderson, Banks, Bartell, Bluff, Bosnick, Boyes, Bryant, Bubnick, Chewchuck, Clarke, Connauton, Delimeau, Dercaci, Edlund, Elvrum,
Ferris, Frantti, Fraser, Fuller, Gecse, Gluchik, Graham, Graig, Grillo, Haiggblom, Hakala, Hansen, Hautala, Heikkonew, Hendrickson, Hopiavuori, Hughie, Hunt,
Innese, Iserhoff, Jelineau, Jung, Kaskisalo, Kekkonen, Kemppi, Keoskinen, Kokko, Koski, Koskinen, Kovaluoma, Kralcik, Kranye, Krock, Kruut,
Laasko, Lahti, Laplante, Leino, Leppikangas, Leppiniemi, Levshov, Liljebek, Linden, Loukaskorpi, Lucyk,
MacLachlan, Macko, Maheux, Marshall, Martin, McKennan, McMillan, Mokrey, Moore, Morency, Morin, Nelson, Nevalainen, Nevampaa, Norbacka, Norris, O'cushing,
Pajala, Pakkala, Pallonen, Paradis, Parkman, Pierce, Puckalo, Purchur, Rowland, Ruben, Saari, Smith, Suszyna, Sutherland, Swenson, Szczesniak,
Travers, Trowsse, Urho, Utriainen, Vaha, Vapalanahti, Viitanen, Waha, Weaver, Wheldon, Woodward, Yatsuk.
The Kings And Queens Of Hearst High School. The Hearst High School began a tradition of crowning
a King and Queen in 1951, the year the new school building was opened. This is a photo essay showing many students and teachers between
the years 1950/51 and 1962/63. Updated June 10, 2020 with new information. Surnames of people shown:
Achilles, Ard, Barrette, Bégin, Bies, Blanchard, Blouin, Boisvert, Bolduc, Bosnick, Boucher, Boulley, Bowers, Brochu, Brunet, Bégin,
Callewaert, Camiré, Campeau, Carrier, Castonguay, Chalykoff, Charbonneau,
Chevrier, Chisholm, Cloutier, Comeau, Coté, Dahlin, DesLauriers, Dubé, Duff, Dupont, Egginton, Ellis, Flesher, Fleury, Fliss, Fortin, Fowler,
Gagné, Gelineau, Giecko, Girard, Grondin, Guty, Guy, Horchak, Halme, Jacques, Jansson, Joanis, Johnson, Kari, Kawa, Kurki,
Labrosse, Lafontaine, Lahtinen, Lapointe, Larose, Larson, Larstone, Lavoie, Leblanc, Leger, Lemaire, Leroux, Levasseur, Levesque, Lussier,
Maki, Martin, McKinley, Meads, Miller, Morin, Nadeau, Payeur, Proulx, Rasinpera, Reed, Richard, Roger, Ruel, Shalla, Siska, Stewart, Stiller,
Tanguay, Thomas, Timmermans, Tonoff, Tremblay, Trowsse, Trudel, Turbide, Turner,
Vaillancourt, Vandette, Veilleux, Wade, Willan, Wilson.
(Revised June 13, 2020)
- Ernest Louis Tivy, First Principal of Hearst Public School. Other teachers' surnames include:
Baird, Graham, Harris, McGregor, Nancekieville, Napper, Nichols, Parkhill, Reid, Sprickerhoff, Stolz,
Terefenko, Washington. Ernie revised this article in 2017.
- Before Jogues it was Stavert. Cultural battles on the Algoma Central Railway -- the naming
and re-naming of the Stavert railway station twelve miles south of Hearst, in the early 1920's. Previously published in
HighGrader and Le Nord (in French). Surnames mentioned:
Abram, Allen, Beemer, Bigger, Boucher, Brunet, Cadieux, Campeau, Carriere, Coe, Desjardins, Dodier, Doran, Doucette, Dupris, Dupuis, Déroches,
Ferguson, Flood, Fortin, Garnett, Gervais, Grandmont, Groleau, Hallé, Hinds, Hogan, Humphries, Jarvis, Jones, Lacasse, Laneville, Lanthier, Laurin,
Lundy, Martin, McQuillen, Montpetit, Nailor, Norris, Pelletier, Potvin, Ranger, Reid, Richard, Roberts, Roy, Samson, Scott,
Smith, Spalding, St. John, Stewart, Stripniuk, Topaloff, Tremblay, Waite, Weight.
- The Wyborns of Hazel. The Wyborns
were a prominent lumbering family in the tiny settlement of Hazel, about three
miles west of Hearst. It was re-named Wyborn in 1915 upon the establishment of a post office.
Previously published in HighGrader.
Surnames mentioned: Allen, Bryant, Byers, Coveney, Harris, Hay, Heatle, Jamieson, Joanis,
McKay, McNee, Olver, Pellow, Poberezec, Reid, Spennato, Wade, Wyborn.
- Lindy, the Happy Eagle. The story of Lindbergh (Lindy) Louttit,
a legendary bush pilot in northern Ontario.
Previously published in HighGrader, the Cochrane Times Post, and on
Canada's History website (former Beaver Magazine). Surnames mentioned:
Albert-Lincez, Bell, Chum, Deluce, Gagnon, Gran, Lindbergh, Louttit, Merriam, Paulsen.
- Christmas Miracle at Moose Factory. During Christmas of 1920,
a simple overnight flight in a free air balloon from the
Rockaway Beach Naval Air Station in New York resulted in triumph for some, but tragedy for others.
Previously published in HighGrader, and the Cochrane Times Post. Surnames mentioned:
Clermont, Evans, Farrell, Flowerton, Gaudet, Haythornthwaite, Hinton, Kloor, MacLeod, Marks, Roney, Trouse, Vincent.
- Why Were Slovak Troops In Cochrane In 1920? The discovery of a mysterious photograph on ebay started a
series of research discoveries which solved this amazing mystery.
Previously published in Highgrader, The Cochrane Times Post, translated into French by
Le Nord in Hearst
and an abridged version was run in Kanadsky Slovak (Toronto). Surnames mentioned:
Bendinger, Borecy, Breber, Dumont, Fuek, Hásek, Kabrna, Karpov, Kopal, Korda, Kouril, Kraichirik, Kudrna, McLeod, Michmack,
Noal, Pape, Sajbert, Silcer, Slunekl, Svoboda, Vocasek, Vuchterle, Vále, Vána.
- The Strange Disappearance of Crown Lands Agent J.L. O'Donnell.
Among other positions, O'Donnell was a Notary Public, and secretary of the Hearst Board of Trade.
A shortfall of $2,500 was discovered in his books in 1924, and he was charged with theft.
He disappeared without a trace, even though a $1,000 reward was offered for him "dead or alive".
Surnames mentioned: Evans, Moore, Vaillancourt.
- Tom Johnson and the Geraldton Gold Rush. Tom Johnson
was a full-time prospector living in Hearst, who discovered the Little Long Lac
gold mine in 1932, which opened up the Geraldton Gold Fields. Previously published in Highgrader. Surnames mentioned:
Ballantyne, Cockshutt, Draper, Errington, Fitzgerald, Hopkins, Johnson, MacLeod, McConnell, McManus, Mooney, Oklend, Smith, Watson, Wells.
- The 1935-36 Diaries Of Gordon Boracheff. Transcribed and edited by Ernie Bies.
Gordon's diary reflects the loneliness of a young man who finds himself in a new country during the Depression. Five thousand miles away
from Bulgaria, he faced an uncertain future, too proud to go home. Ernie Bies has added photos of the 1930's which illustrate life in Hearst through Gordon's eyes.
Ernie says: " . . . . (it is written) more in the style of Gordon Boracheff. I did edit it for grammar and punctuation but the tone is still his."
Surnames mentioned: Arkinstall, Bies, Bosnick, Bubnicks, Chalykoff, Cismar, Drajanoff, Foster, Guty, Horvat, Kawa, Kjollonder, Lambroff, Lukac,
Magon, Marco, Marinoff, McLoskey, McManniman, Petcoff, Samuel, Shoppoff, Smith, Sowpel, Taylor, Teggin, Topaloff, Wade, Wurm.
- Stompin' Tom Connors in Hearst. The winter of 1953 found seventeen-year-old Charles Thomas Connors
and his buddy Steve Foote, hitch-hiking through Northern Ontario.
After several adventures they reached Hearst where they were quickly run out of town . . . .
Previously published in Highgrader, and Kanadsky Slovak.
Surnames mentioned: Connors, Denommee, Foote.
- Surviving Driving.
Everyone who has driven on Northern Ontario roads has stories of the occasional fender bender, vehicle collision, or even encounters with wildlife. It seems that
Ernie's been there, done that, and has a large collection of t-shirts. Surnames mentioned:
Camire, Carriere, Dallimore, Desmarteaux, Lowe, Voyer.
- Big Tom's Tragic Legacy -- The Death of a Gentle Giant. The son of an underground miner, Tom Dasovich
spent his childhood in Northern Ontario mining towns -- Virginiatown, Kearns, Kirkland Lake, Sault Ste Marie, and Elliot Lake. In January 1965 he was enrolled
in Journalism at Ryerson, in Toronto, and also had been scouted and signed to a tryout with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. He had his whole life ahead of him,
and then . . . . Surnames mentioned: Brown, Dasovich.
- Why Didn't You Stop Him? This question has haunted Ernie from the moment it was asked in 1965.
Previously published in Highgrader.
- Art to Some -- Lunch to Others. A unique Christmas gift to Ernie's sister Olga, had a special meaning to a
member of Olga's household.
- Ernie's Ring of Fire.
How long does it take for skin to freeze at -65°F? Not long at all, as Ernie can testify, as he tells of a winter adventure in the Yukon in the 1980's.
Surnames mentioned: Menard, Rolofson.
- The Great Ice Storm.
Written in 2018, Ernie reminisces about the Ice Storm of 1998, and how he was forced to go from Ottawa to Iqaluit, seeking better weather in January.
- Memories of Christmas Past. Remembering childhood Christmases in Bradlo, and adult Christmases in Edmonton.
Previously published. Surnames mentioned: Gulka, Marcinak, O'Hara, Pellow, Vavra, Vehkalahti.
- Distant Sleigh Bells, Peppermints and Red Jell-O. "Growing up on a small farm in the 1940's, eight miles south of Hearst Ontario
provided many memories of a less complex life and simple pleasures coupled with severe hardship . . . . "
Previously published. Surnames mentioned: Boracheff, Maki.
- The Christmas Party Train and a Slovak Toast.
Remembering the continuous party on the Ontario Northland, going home for Christmas in the 1960's.
- 2015 Christmas Story -- The Life Saving Properties of Tourtière.
A short article followed by readers' responses. Previously published.
- 2016 Christmas Story -- Things My Sister Gave Me.
Honouring Ernie's oldest sister, Olga, this is a beautiful and poignant story.
Previously published in the Christmas editions of The Northern Times (Kapuskasing),
The Eganville Leader, and Highgrader Magazine. Surnames mentioned:
Brown, Drajanoff, Fisher, Franson, Guy, Kennedy, Sloan.
- 2017 Christmas Story -- Escaping the Farm.
How a farm boy from Northern Ontario discovered there was a big world out there. Ernie says
it is more a "coming of age" or an "attitude adjustment" story that ends with a new beginning at the Christmas of 1957.
Local surnames mentioned: Bailey, Bradford, Brown, Jones.
- 2018 Christmas Story -- Surviving the Alberta Boom.
Remembering living on a very tight budget in Edmonton, circa 1977.
- 2019 Christmas Story -- A Tree for Principal McKinlay.
Hillarious hi-jinks at Hearst High, 1958-1962-ish. Surnames mentioned: Bosnick, Bowers, Bradford, Brown, Chalykoff,
Gagne, Guy, Labrosse, Lafontaine, McKinlay, Stiller, Willan.
- The Hockey Sweater -- Hearst Version. Ernie's second love is hockey, and this short article proves it.
Previously published in Highgrader, LeNord (in French), and Kapuskasing Times.
Surnames mentioned: Begin, Lacroix, Lafleur, Rheault, Therrien.
- Happy New Year! A pleasant and short article from 2015, with some New Year's reading recommendations.
- A Personal Tribute To Al Etmanski.
Al and his wife, Vickie Cammack, were named as members of the Order of Canada in 2014. Surnames mentioned:
Archambeault, Arkinstall, Banks, Begin, Bray, Brochu, Bureau, Cammack, Cantin, Chouinard, Collin, Comeau, Conway,
Defosses, Doré, Duchesneau, Dupuis, Etmanski, Fasano, Fontaine, Fraser, Gagnon, Gagné, Gamache, Girouard, Grondin
Guerin, Hébert, Labrosse, Laflamme, Lafleur, Larose, Leger, Marchand, Matko, Paquin, Pegg, Picard, Pomfrett, Roy, Simard, St. Pierre,
Vaillancourt, Vermette, Wills, Wilson.
- Memories Of Steve -- The Early Years.
Memorial to Steve Siska (Dec. 19, 1942 - July 11, 2015).
Surnames mentioned: Siska, Trowsse.
- Aldé Collin -- He Made us all Smile.
Hearst lost one of its most beloved characters on October 13, 2016, when our good friend Aldé Collin was called to join the cast of
entertainers in the sky. Born in 1937, he was an all around sportsman, entertainer, clown, haberdasher, and good guy. Surnames mentioned:
Alary, Archambeault, Arkinstall, Banks, Begin, Blier, Bray, Briere, Brochu, Camire, Cantin, Catellier, Cloutier, Collin, Comeau, Coté,
Defossés, Doré, Dufton, Etmanski, Fontaine, Fraser, Gagnon, Gagné, Gamache, Garnett, Gaudreau, Grondin, Hebert, Henry, Hince, Hébert,
Joanis, Labrosse, Laflamme, Lafleur, Lang, Larose, Leger, Lemaire, Levesque, Lussier, MacMillan, Mallette, Marchand, Martin, Matko, Morin, Paquin,
Pegg, Philbin, Picard, Plourde, Pomfrett, Roger, Rouse, Roy, Sharpe, Simard, St. Pierre, Tanguay, Terefenko,
Vaillancourt, Veilleux, Vermette, Villeneuve, Wills, Wilson,
- Welcoming Refugees.
Ernie reflects on his own experiences with immigrants, refugees and people simply looking for a better life.
Previously published in Highgrader.
- A Personal Tribute To Bill Bies.
Bill Bies is Ernie's brother. This article is chock full of vintage photos of Hearst --
not only family photos but many school and sports photos. Surnames mentioned (mostly in photo captions):
Achilles, Begin, Bies, Bolton, Bosnick, Brochu, Chadore, Chartrand, Chevrier, Chisholm, Comeau, Crane, Dahlin, Doran, Dupont, Dénommée, Déslauriers,
Egan, Flesher, Gagnon, Garneau, Garnett, Gelineau, Giecko, Girard, Greeley, Heggtveit, Hellings, Horchak, Hosfeld, Jansson, Joanis, Koskinen,
Laakso, Labrosse, Lapointe, Larose, Larstone, Loucks, Luoma, MacEachern, Martin, Medve, Menard, Miller, Morin, Paasila, Pellow, Pentland,
Rosebush, Rosevear, Rouse, Roy, Ruel, Sawryga, Secord, Sevc, Shador, Shalla, Sicotte?, Sloan, Slobodnick, Spillenaar, Stolz, Story, Swanson,
Taylor, Terefenko, Timmermans, Trudel, Walper, Waugh, Wilson.
- "Don't Come Back" -- Instructions from the Heart Institute.
Like most people, Ernie thought this could never happen to him . . . .
Previously published in Highgrader.
- One Year Sober (from Butter Tarts).
A year after his 2016 heart attack, Ernie gives a progress report: "My name is Ernie and I am a buttertartaholic.
It has been one year since I had my last butter tart." Surnames mentioned:
Black, Marquis, McKinley, Theilheimer, Tookoome, Wescoupe.
- A Shooting Star -- The Chee Chee I Knew.
In 2017 Ernie was working with the Temiskaming Art Gallery in Haileybury on a retrospective of
Benjamin Chee Chee's life and art.
He was a good friend of Chee Chee when he was in Ottawa. Surnames mentioned:
Beauchamp, Belaney, Brown, Crozier, Dockstader, Eberts, Gaignery, Hill,
Karim, Klaver, McCann, McKenzie, Purdie, Roy, Watt.
- Remembering My Friend Andy Cowie (1942-2016). Andy was raised in Valentine Creek, just west of
Hearst. Illustrated with photos of school classes from Hearst and of Andy's early musical career. Surnames mentioned (most are shown in photos):
Achilles, Anders, Bies, Blais, Bolduc, Bolton, Bosnick, Coulam, Cowie, Doran, Egan, Gelineau, Geno, Girard, Greeley, Hendrickson, Horchak, Hosfeld,
Johnson, Koivisto, Koski, Koskinen, Kurki, Lahaie, Larouche, Leblanc, Lindell, Lussier, Malette, Martin, Menard, Mitchell, Niskanen,
Paasila, Paradis, Pellow, Pilgrim, Rasinpera, Rosebush, Rosevear, Roy, Russell, Shador, Sicotte, Sloan, Spennato, Taylor, Terefenko, Turner, Wade, Waugh, Weller.
- Ray (Iron-Arm) Lafleur, The Passing of a Legend.
Memorial to the legendary Hearst Lumberkings pitcher, Ray Lafleur, who passed away in 2019.
Surnames mentioned: Etmanski, Lafleur.
- Gaston Grondin -- Hearst Memories in Pictures.
Remembering Gaston Grondin, who died March 19, 2020, at the age of 81. Profusely illustrated with high school sports photos.
Surnames mentioned (most are shown in photos):
Banks, Begin, Bidal, Blouin, Boulley, Bourgeault, Bray, Brunelle,
Camire, Cantin, Castonguay, Cloutier, Collin, Comeau, Defosses, Doran, Doré, Drouin, Dupuis,
Filion, Fontaine, Fraser, Gagnon, Gagné, Gamache, Gelineau, Girard, Gosselin, Grondin, Halle, Hébert, Jansson, Joanis, Johnson, Jones,
Laflamme, Lafleur, Lahde, Lapointe, Larose, Larouche, Larson, Lavoie, Leger, Levesque, Maki, Mandrow, Marchand, Matko, Neegan,
Patterson, Philibert, Picard, Pion, Pomfrett, Proulx, Rancourt, Rasinpera, Rodrigue, Roger,
St. Pierre, Veilleux, Vermette, Wills, Wilson.
- Living Off Grid? Been There, Done that.
This is a brief history and snapshot of life on the farm at Bradlo during the 1930's to 1950's, through the eyes of Ernie and his parents and siblings.
The whole gamut of rural life is covered -- outhouses, wood heating, cows and horses and chickens, neighbours, entertainment,
gradual modernization, church, school -- a life beautifully remembered. Surnames mentioned (some only in passing):
Ard, Bernier, Bies, Bosnick, Bubnick, Bunsko, Cowie, Dahlin, Dedina, Dethridge, Drajanoff, Duffy, Flesher, Franson, Garneau, Gulka,
Halme, Hamborg, Hamulak, Haynes, Jansson, Hoskins, Kari, Killick, Kilpatrick, Loucks, Lussier, MacBurney, Maki, Marcinak, Medve, Nadvornik, Nelson, Niskanen, Novak, Nugent,
Parosh, Pentland, Sachowski, Sevc, Sloan, Smith, Sprickerhoff, Taylor, Turner, Vermette, Walper, Weller, Ziga.
- Northern Ontario Baseball: The Dillons of Jogues.
The story of the Dillon brothers -- an all-brother baseball team, who competed in the Northern Pioneer Baseball League (NPBL)
from the late 1940's to the early 1970's. With many team photographs. Surnames mentioned:
Achilles, Anderson, Begin, Bidal, Boisclair, Brooks, Brunel, Bélair, Chevrier, Chouinard, Collin, Côté,
Dillon, Doherty, Doran, Dougherty, Drouin, Dufour, Dupuis, Filion, Fortier, Foster, Gagnon, Gallagher, Gelineau, Gosselin, Grondin,
Haldenby, Harvey, Hogue, Hudon, Inouye, Jansson, Jenkins, Kasenchuk, Lafleur, Lahde, Lapointe, Latimer, Laurin, Lemieux, Longtin,
Marier, McCaskill, McKinnon, McManus, McQuillam, Morin, Neegan, Newman, Nolet, Philibert, Rancourt, Rodrigue, Rondeau, Roy, Russ, Shea,
Tanaka, Trowsse, Turk, Turner, Wilson.
The Royal Theatre Story.
Another epic story that started out to be just Ernie's recollections of working at The Royal as an usher 60 years ago.
The Royal stood for 50 years as the businesses beside it changed hands and faces over the years.
This is a walk through the ages of that particular part of Hearst with a lot of anecdotal memories from people who lived it.
Mostly of interest to Hearstites but the experiences were probably similar in any small town.
There are too many surnames mentioned to list here, so these are the surnames of people in photographs:
Bland, Boucher, Boulley, Butryn, Chalykoff, Charles, Clarin, Drajanoff, Fulton, Grieve, Halme, Hietala, Jones, Joutsi,
Lambroff, Lapenskie, Larstone, Lussier, MacEachern, Medve, Olasevich, Palmquist, Reid, Rouse,
Sharp, Smith, Sprickerhoff, Stolz, Terefenko, Vandette, West, Wilson, Woods.
(Revised March 6, 2021)
Tribute to "Barney" Maurice Larose. Barney died August 24, 2020, at the age of 76.
Surnames mentioned: Alary, Ard, Begin, Bies, Blouin, Boucher, Brochu, Bubnick, Carrier, Carrier-Fraser,
Chalykoff, Chevrier, Comeau, Cowie, Dahlin, Deslauriers, Doucet, Garnett, Giroux, Jansson, Joanis, Jones,
Labonté, Labrosse, Lacasse, Larose, Leger, Levesque, Léger, Martin, Maurice, McDonald, Morin, Moris, Morissette,
Payeur, Petrcich, Plouffe, Proulx, Richard, Rochon, Rosevear, Sigouin, Siska, Skille, Tanguay, Toonoo, Trudel, Turner, West, Wilson.
(Added August 29, 2020)
2020 Christmas Story : It Has To Be Balsam. By Michel Filion.
Ernie says: "I have been doing Christmas stories for almost 10 years now and came up dry for new ideas this year.
(In past years) several people were moved to send me their own Christmas stories. I consider this one, by Michel Filion from Hearst,
to be one of the best. It would make a great children's book with illustrations." It was written in 2011.
(Added December 14, 2020)
Farewell to Brinks, a Boyhood Friend. Ernie's tribute to Brian "Brinks" Egan, who died December 19, 2020,
at the age of 76. Included is a story from "Clayton's Kids" -- Keeping The Family Together,
by Sharon (Egan) Beaulne.
Surnames mentioned: Achilles, Beaulne, Bies, Bisson, Bolton, Bosnick, Coulam, Cowie, Dahlin, Dorosh, Dugyay, Egan, Fox, Gelineau, Girard, Giroux, Greeley,
Hendrickson, Hill, Horchak, Hosfeld, Johnson, Koivisto, Lahtinen, Larouche, Lussier,
Madigan, Malette, Martin, McGie, McKee, McLeod, Meads, Menard, Mills, Mitchell, Olhiser, Pellow, Rice, Rosevear, Roy, Russell,
Scott, Spennato, Terefenko, Turner, Watchorne, Waugh.
(Added December 28, 2020)
Gordon Lussier 70 Years of Memories. Ernie's tribute to Gordon Lussier, who died December 26, 2020,
at the age of 76.
Surnames mentioned: Achilles, Ard, Bies, Blanchard, Bolduc, Bolton, BosnickBosnick, Boucher, Brouillard, Bubnick, Bubnickovitch,
Campeau, Chalykoff, Charbonneau, Comeau, Coulam, Cowie,
Doran, Drouin, Egan, Fex, Gagné, Gelineau, Geno, Girard, Greeley, Guy, Hatch, Hendrickson, Holinaty, Horchak, Hosfeld, Johnson, Koivisto, Koski, Koskinen, Kurki,
Laakso, Labrosse, Lahtinen, Larouche, Larstone, Levasseur, Lussier, Luszcz, Malette, Martin, Meads, Menard, Mitchell, Morin, Niskanen,
Paasila, Paradis, Pellow, Peltonen, Proulx, Rasinpera, Rosebush, Rosevear, Roy, Russell, Shador, Sicotte, Sloan, Spennato, Stiller, Taylor, Terefenko, Turner,
Vandette, Veilleux, Wade, Walls, Waugh, Weller, Whitmarsh, Willan, Wragg.
(Added December 28, 2020)
Remembering Brian Grieve. (This link takes you to a "Clayton's Kids" story
"Hearst in the 1920s and 30s", by Dorothy Grieve.)
(Added January 10, 2021)
On December 17th, 2020, in his 92nd year, Brian Grieve passed away after a brief illness.
He was born in Hearst, Ontario, and his career took him
from Ontario to Calgary, eventually settling in Victoria, B.C. upon retirement. Brian was an avid golfer, skater, and cyclist. He enjoyed a good book, and spent
many happy days with his late son, Don, dear sister, Dorothy, and close friends Ken and Glenn Travers. He will be much missed by his loved ones: cousins Deb and
Louise. He was predeceased by his parents; Maud and Tom Grieve. 'Earth has no sorrow, that Heaven cannot heal'. At Brian's request, there will be no funeral, and
his remains will be interred at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, B.C. Donations may be made to a charity of your choice in Brian's name. Condolences may be
offered to the family at www.mccallgardens.com/
Jonathan Turner -- Like a Brother. Ernie remembers Jonathan Turner,
one of his oldest and best friends, who passed away January 26, 2021. Surnames mentioned:
Achilles, Ard, Bies, Bolduc, Bolton, Bosnick, Chalykoff, Collin, Coulam, Cowie, Doran, Duff, Egan, Egginton, Fex,
Gelineau, Geno, Girard, Greeley, Hendrickson, Holinaty, Horchak, Hosfeld, Jeffries, Johnson, Koivisto, Koski, Koskinen, Kurki,
Lahde, Lahtinen, Larouche, Lussier, Maki, Malette, Martin, Meads, Menard, Miller, Mitchell, Morin, Niskanen, Paasila, Paradis, Pellow, Pratt,
Rasinpera, Rosebush, Rosevear, Roy, Russell, Shador, Sicotte, Sloan, Smith, Spennato, Taylor, Terefenko, Trowsse, Turner, Wade, Waugh, Weller, Wragg.
(Added April 21, 2021)
Harry Powell: A Builder of Hearst. Harry Edgar Powell
(1876-1933) was the patriarch of
a family which was prominent in the business and political life of Hearst. Surnames mentioned:
Allen, Arkinstall, Aubin, Auchinachie, Banks, Bird, Blier, Boucher, Boulley, Braun, Brisson, Brown,
Cartier, Cinzia, Clark, Coffin, Cross, Côté, Debard, Derkus, Dooner, Drajanoff, Flood, Fontaine, Fulton, Gagnon, Gibson, Grieve,
Hinds, Holler, Houle, Howard, Irwin, Jansson, Jenkins, Joanis, Jones, Kendrick, Kinsey,
Larstone, Lecours, McDonald, McManus, McNee, Miller, Mitchell, Mongeon, Moss, Nancekieville, Perrault,
Powell, Purvis, Quackenbush, Reid, Robinson, Rosaire, Rosevear,
Seymour, Shaw, Sigouin, Smith, Sprickerhoff, Taylor, Tivy, Tremblay, Vaillancourt, Wade, West, Wilson, Woodward.
(Revised March 29, 2021)
Dr. Albert Kinsey, First Doctor in Hearst. Article written by Frank Pellow,
and posted here with his permission. Previously published in Highgrader. Surnames mentioned:
Cavanagh, Howard, Kinsey, West.
(Added April 21, 2021)
German POWs In Hearst -- Friedrich Albert Jeppel.
In 1943 the Canadian Government decided to use interned prisoners of war to
ease the labour shortage in lumber camps and on farms. This article is about one prisoner who returned to Canada after the war. Surnames mentioned:
Bies, Jeppel, O'Hara, Peter, Spillenaar.
(Added May 1, 2021)
Remembering Gabriel (Ti-Pit) Léger 1943-2015.
Gabirel's obituary was posted in the Kapuskasing Northern Times in Oct, 2015,
but Ernie has much more to say about his old friend from the Hearst High School days. Surnames mentioned:
Barrette, Beauvais, Bienvennue, Cantin, Carlson, Chevrier, Comeau, Coté, Cowie, Darrah, Dehaitre, Fontaine, Frampton, Frost, Gagné, Garnett, Girard,
Hallé, Hensen, Jacques, Jansson, Lacasse, Laprise, Lavoie, Levasseur, Levesque, Léger, Matheson, Mondour, Mooney, Néolet, Payeur, Phair, Poliquin,
Roy, Ruel, Siska, Smith, Trudel, Vaillancourt, Volkmann, Wade, Ward, Wrinn.
(Added May 3, 2021)
A Short History of the Hearst Municipal Police.
By Robert Martin, who is a retired teacher currently researching the history of more than 450 defunct police departments that served
communities in the province of Ontario.
Barnes, Bies, Brochu, Bush, Caldwell, Carrier, Charron, Clement, Demoskoff, Desgroseiller, Farley, Found, Gauthier, Gignac, Gonzalez,
Hatch, Hill, Hopewood, Jansson, Jeffrey, Lacalle, Laframboise, Leblanc, Marchand, Marconi, Morel, Phillion, Plouffe, Pyefinch,
Reid, Ringuette, Robinson, Sharpe / Sharp, Souliere, Teggin, Trowsse, Veilleux, Wheeldon.
(Added July 4, 2021)
Clayton's Kids, Pioneer Families of Hearst Public School,
edited by Terry West, Frank Pellow and Ernie Bies,
who were part of a committee which included Peggy Wade Dodds, Elena Bosnick Petrcic, Betsi Miller Barrette, Dorothy Girard Leger,
Alan Jansson, Doug and Laura Rosevear,
Christine Gagne and Debbie Girard Vaillancourt, who compiled 106 stories written by the families of Hearst pioneers.
Selling 1,200 copies of the book and organizing a successful reunion in 2009, the committee generated $30,000 in profits that was donated to
Clayton Brown Public School to assist with under-funded programs, such as milk, breakfast, music, travel, swim etc. The timing of the book was very opportune as some
35 of these family authors have since passed away. Following are some of these pioneer stories. Limited copies of the book are still available.
- Finding Bradlo (1930's). By Anna (Hucko) Bies and Jan Bies.
This is a compilation of two family stories, one written by Anna Hucko Bies
in 1978, and the other by Jan Bies,
in a taped interview with his grandson Russell Siska, about 1975. Surnames mentioned:
Bernier, Bies, Chalykoff, Dahlin, Drajanoff, Flesher, Hucko,
Killick, Kilpatrick, Kinnaird, Pentland, Siska, Smith, Stancik, Taylor, Walper.
- A Log House on George Street. By Frances Trowsse.
A short history of the family of Alfred Trowsse and Irene Grasser, in Hearst, from the 1920's onwards.
Also includes "Serving the Community," by Frances Trowsse & Terry West,
a short biography of Walter Craig (Chum) Trowsse. Surnames mentioned:
Bolduc, Carlson, Chalykoff, Egan, Giecko, Grasser, Halme, Joanis, Jones, Kurki, Larson, Larstone,
McKenny, Miller, Mäki, Parker, Pellow, Rasinpera, Shoppoff, Stolz, Thomas, Trowsse, Wade, West, Wilson.
- Depression, German Soldiers and an Ocean Come Between. By Lori Siska.
"On a cold November morning in 1938, a six-year-old boy was bundled up and placed onto a horse-drawn sleigh beside his mother.
He kissed his aunt and uncle, not realizing he might never see them again, as he was off to Canada to meet the father he had only known through photographs.
It would be fifty-three years before he would meet his aunt again on his only trip back to his ancestral land . . . . "
Another story from Clayton's Kids. Surnames mentioned: Bies, Ivancak, Siska.
- To School by Horse, Dog, Sometimes Train. By Olivine (Lapenskie) Raftis.
The Lapenskie family (originally Lipinski), moved from the Wilno area to land near Hearst after World War 1. This family history is full of home and
school antics of the children. Surnames mentioned: Bradley, Burchat, Giecko, Martin, McMeekin, Mulligan,
Poberezec, Reihe, Rupert, Shoppoff, Sprickerhoff. Another story from Clayton's Kids.
- Hardships Bring Out the Best. By Eeva (Mäki) Macdonald.
A short family history about the family of Ernest and Selma Keltamäki,
their journey from Finland to Port Arthur in 1928, and eventually to Hearst.
Another story from Clayton's Kids. Surnames mentioned:
Bies, Bolduc, Bourgeault, Brown, Fex, Fulton, Hietala, Itook, Joanis, Kansakangas, Keltamäki, Koivisto, Kurki, Larouche, Levaire,
MacEachern, Macdonald, Maki, McKinnon, Myllymäki, Mäki, Paasila, Rasinpera, Rosebush, Salo, Turner.
- Hearst in the 1920's and '30's. By Dorothy Grieve.
This is part of Dorothy's family story,
previously published in "Clayton's Kids." Surnames mentioned:
Allen, Bacon, Brisson, Fulton, Girard, Grieve, Knipprath, Koski, Lapenski, Nancekieville, Nichols, Patterson,
Powell, Reid, Reihe, Smith, Sprickerhoff, Stanfield, Wilson, Woodward.
- Fun, Friends and First Job in the Thirties. By Ivan (Robbie) Robinson.
Remembering James (Robbie) Robinson, who died Jan. 16, 2020, at the age of 96.
His story, formerly published in Clayton's Kids,
is signed Ivan (Robbie) Robinson. I'm sure Ernie Bies has a story about that.
Surnames mentioned: Anderson, Arkinstall, Boake, Chalykoff, Chartrand, Elmslie, Flood, Harris, Kinnaird, Knipprath, Koski,
McArthur, Nancekieville, Parker, Parkhill, Parkhill, Slater, Smith, Trowsse, West, Wilson.
- The Drajanoff Family of Hearst. By Slavko Drajanoff.
Slavko and Evanka Drajanoff arrived in Hearst in 1913 and operated a general store there until the family moved to
Geraldton in 1933. Included is a separate article: Hearst Girl, Stella Drajanoff, Bradlo's First Teacher, by Stella Drajanoff.
Surnames mentioned: Bies, Chalykoff, Daneff, Drajanoff, Drajkoff, Lilko.
- Six in a Tent for the First Winter. By Don Johnson.
The story of the Johnson family: losing their farm in Watsons Corners in Lanark County, they moved to Hearst in 1916.
Joined by three of their adult sons after World War I, they scraped out a meagre existence. One of their sons, Tom, became
a prospector and, in 1932, discovered Little Long Lac Gold Mine near Geraldton, the first producing gold mine in the area.
As they say, the rest is history.
Surnames mentioned: Alexander, Anderson, Arkinstall, Bosnick, Gove, Hopkins, Johnson, Killick, Larson,
MacEachern, Martin, Montcalm, Murray, Niemi, Smith, Spennato, West.
Kills Bear With Axe, Hikes 30 Miles in Bush for Aid. By Eero Multamäki.
This article contains far more than a mere recounting of this event. It is the story of the struggle of just one immigrant family to
survive in the north. The episode with the bear was just a blip in a never-ending life of blips, even though it rated a story
and photograph in The Toronto Star.
The author of this true story, Eero Multamaki, died June 17, 2020. Check out his artwork on his website
The Artwork of Eero Multamaki.
Surnames mentioned: Eilala, Girard, Hook, Kara, Lemaire, Multamaki.
(Added June 26, 2020)
The Bulgarian Patriarch : Dimitre Chalykoff. By Peggy (Wade) Dodds.
Dimitre Chalykoff emigrated with his wife and baby daughter, from Varbitsa, Bulgaria to Canada, in 1907. Settling in Northern Ontario, they
established businesses in Hearst, Cochrane, Wawa, and Val d'Or, Quebec.
Surnames mentioned: Arkinstall, Aubin, Bourdon, Chalykoff, Drajkoff, Lafond, Mills, Ponting, Wade, Wanless.
(Added June 22, 2021)
The Younger Chalykoff : Todor. By Neda Chalykoff and Daniel Roderick Chalykoff.
(November 2008). This story missed the cutoff for Claytons Kids but was published as a Handout with the book so it really
is a Clayton's Kids story. The family gave approval to post it.
Surnames mentioned: Arkinstall, Aubin, Bourdon, Callewaert, Chalykoff, Drajanoff, Drajkoff, Fulton,
Knipprath, Patterson, Petch, Todorova, Wanless.
(Added May 15, 2021)
Bradlo : Slovak Colony Carved from the Boreal Forest. By Ernie Bies.
This tiny community of Slovaks, created from nothing, was established eight miles south of Hearst. By 1933 it had 30 school-age children
and required a school, and in 1936, a post office, and eventually boasted 50 families.
By 1940 the pulpwood was depleted and the soil was too poor for farming, so people moved on for better lives.
Ernie's family was the last to leave, in 1957, and the town was permanently abandoned.
Surnames mentioned: Babela, Benko, Bies, Boor, Bosda, Bosnick.
Brodusky, Bubnick, Bunsko, Cizmar, Davitsky, Dedina, Drajanoff, Drobny, Dronzek, Dunca, Dureg, Elias, Filo, Garec, Gula, Gulka,
Halak, Hamulak, Hrchak, Hrivnak, Hurajt, Jacuk, Jakubkovic, Jamisch, Janoska, Jarabek, Kadlecik, Kostelny, Kubik, Kuhayda, Kushnir, Kusmik,
Lasan, Lewkulich, Lilko, Lovisek, Marcinak, Martin, Michalek, Michalicka, Mohar, Nadvornik, Ollassis, Orendich, Paluch, Paros, Pesko, Potocnak, Prokop,
Rajna, Rakivec, Reid, Rusnak, Rybar, Samul, Sawryga, Sevc, Sirotnak, Slobodnick, Stacho, Stefanik, Sulentic, Svos, Tapajna, Trnik, Urias,
Wagner, Wasylak, Wurm, Wydareny, Ziga, Zipaj, Zrelak.
(Added June 22, 2021)
The Kuhayda Family in Bradlo and Hearst. By Mary (Kuhayda) Schiestel.
Andrej and Terezia Kuhayda arrived in Bradlo in 1930 and started raising their family. They grew much of their own food on their land and
Andrej worked cutting pulpwood. They moved to Hearst in the fall of 1944, when their eldest child needed to attend high school.
Surnames mentioned: Antonik, Flood, Janoska, Kuhajda / Kuhayda, McNee, Tapajna / Tapajnova, Wydareny, Ziga.
(Added June 22, 2021)
The Slobodnick Family : Pioneers With Stamina. By Anne (Slobodnick) Girard.
Gustave Slobidnick and Mary Tishlar settled near Hearst, cleared land and built a log home, and raised seven children.
Surnames mentioned: Bosnich, Bosnick, Davey, Dupuis, Girard, Gosselin, Hautcoeur, Holinaty, Jarabak, Martel,
Pimek, Raffaie, Skryzpek, Slobodnick, Sobrak, St. Charles, Tishlar.
(Added June 22, 2021)
From Slovakian Peasant to Canadian Doctor. By Judith (Antonik) Harvey.
Ladislav Antonik was the first in his Slovakian village to ever attend high school. Emigrating to Canada in 1934 at age 15,
and not knowing a word of English, he went from Grade 3 to high school in 18 months. He joined the armed forces at the outbreak of WW2 and trained for
a medical degree at Queen's University, graduating in 1944. He practised family medicine in Hearst until 1952, and in Kapuskasing from 1956 to 1958, when he and his family
moved to western Canada. In 1974, he became the medical director of the Royal Columbian Hospital in New
Westminster, and later supervised treatment for Terry Fox.
Surnames mentioned: Antonik, Chalykoff, Deir, Fox, Kadnar, Penfield.
(Added June 22, 2021)
Slovak Costume Wins Pulp Contract. By Anna (Sevc) Zapletal.
Jan Ondrej Sevc arrived in Canada in 1928 and joined his cousin, Joseph Ziga,
in what was to become Bradlo, a Slovak settlement south of Hearst. He was joined by his wife, Maria Anna
(née Furova), in 1931, and they and their growing family prospered.
Surnames mentioned: Balfour, Brown, Bubnick, Chalykoff, Furova, Hellings, Sevc, Sawryga, West, Ziga.
(Added June 22, 2021)
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