Digby County Exhibition..bear River 2015

Published August 28, 2015 by oddacity designs

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Yes, it is EXHIBITION WEEK in Bear River and the love of all things agricultural is celebrated.  And of course there’s lots of home down entertainment as well!

If you didn’t get there, too bad, you will have to make do with some photos….

Fifty Three years and Counting

Published August 6, 2015 by oddacity designs

It was July 14th. 1962. Fifty Three years ago, and the day Barry and Sheila Cassidy tied the knot and became man and wife.  What a lot of water under the bridge, most of it in Bear River where they moved in 1972. Hallelujah.

So it was a great occasion for a celebration, and celebrate they did, with a wonderful gathering of friends and an enormous amount of incredibly delicious food.

Fortunately, both the Cassidy’s have a delicious sense of humor….maybe you can tell by the cake they ordered…

the cake, complete with photo made of icing!

the cake, complete with photo made of icing!

In case you can’t make it out, the writing with the arrow says “I’m with stupid”  Needless to say the cake was a huge success.

Many more happy anniversaries to this fantastic couple.

The lost years

Published July 28, 2015 by oddacity designs

Eureka….we have found some of the Bear River Tributaries, and they are now on the website, under Bear River Tributary, on the banner.

Check it out…lots of great memories.  More Tributaries will be posted in the next while so keep visiting.

Another great Cherry Carnival in Bear River 2015

Published July 24, 2015 by oddacity designs

Ocne again the town was filled with visitors and villagers munching on cherries, with the celebrations of the 122 Bear River Cherry Carnival. From the children’s parade in the morning until the last fireworks, the day was a great success.  People caught up with friends and family and it was wonderful to see so many smiling people.


Children’s parade –  1st  – Luke Peck with the Mobile Laundromat  –  Proud parents are Brad and Rebecca Peck

2nd – Evan Trimper – future Firefighter  –  Proud parents are Diana Nickerson and Travis Trimper
3rd  – Sadie Parker and Ayden D’Ambrose – Future Myrtle and Rosie’s employees  –  Proud parents are Melissa Parker and Janelle D’Ambrose

People’s Choice goes to Andrew Henshaw for his Bear River History float that he made himself. Proud parents are Matt & Joy Henshaw

And yes, David Isles won the greased pole event yet again!  Congratulations.

A huge round of applause to the Bear River Fire Department who sponsored the event and the hundreds of volunteer hours put into the production of the Carnival.  What would Bear River do without you!  Well done and we look forward to next year!

Village news July 2015

Published July 10, 2015 by oddacity designs

Francois Bellefontaine spent some time in June back in Montreal and returned to entertain some family and friends. Tiring of that he went to visit a friend for a few days.
We are thrilled to announce that Karen Mansfield’s last test results showed completely positive results. Horray Karen!
Simone Sleeth Wilson celebrated birthday times at the Milford House with the boys and friends.
Unfortunately Darla and River Anderson have departed for points south. But the good news is, Joe Zawko has arrived for the summer months, and is busy getting into a social whirl.
Welcome back to Dove Ballon and Alan Dale who are here for their 20th summer. Incredible.
Zoe Onysko was happy to entertain friends from different parts of Canada during June.
Carol and Hayden Jones or Monmouth, Wales, spent 10 days visiting the village and all their good friends they have here.
Cindy O’Donnell has broken new running records! Congratulations, and go girl go!
Harvey Marcotte has returned after spending some time in Rhode Island.
Micheal Glover has returned to Bear River after many years in California. Welcome back!
Leslie Milbury is now home from the hospital and is doing much better. Great News!
Flora Doehler spent some time in”the most beautiful place in the world”, Brier Island, where she did some painting. She has also been spending time working on a solution to the Greek economic crisis.
Ben Wilson is off to CFB Gagetown to continue his cadet training.
Sandi Burrel has returned home after living in Alberta for the past little while.
Congratulations to Nathan Waterman and Rose Meuse on the new addition to thier family. Declan Meuse Waterman arrived in June, a a real bundle of joy, and a little brother for Cedar Rose.
A lovely solstice party was held at the home of Suzie Jacques and Jack Fuller..with great music food and company.
George Sloan and Susan Friend celebrate the fifth anniversary of their move to Bear River on July 14.
Glendean Parker is back in Bear River after her delightful cross country trip.
Frank and Petra Ziemmeck arrived from Berlin to spend a quick visit on their way to Yarmouth.
Dick Rampen and Cathy Zach are back for another summer and looking forward to good weather.
Welcome to Carolyn Buck and Norman Stiff who have just moved to Bear River from Ontario. They are now happily settled in the former Fran Fetter home.
Gertrude and Bob Benson were pleasantly surprised and happy to have Marg and Richard Allen of Yarmouth drop by for a visit in June.
Birthdays: JULY
Marsha Buckler July 3,
Jennifer Ring July 4,
Sue Long July 11
Donna Perkins July 13
Donna Ellis Peck July 17
Edith Jefferson July 18,
Michael Pierce July 21,
Gary Hurlock July 23
Mary Allen July 28
Mary Golding July 19
Arthur Isles turns 95 July 30
August Birthdays
Jane Porter Aug 2
Margie Cooper: Aug 3
Kelly Gilliam, ` Aug 3
Blake Potter, ` Aug.3
Bobby Perkins, Aug 4
Lilas Peck, Aug 4
Tom Mullen, Aug 8
Bob Benson: Aug 12
A belated happy birthday to Bonnie McLeod who celebrated June 27.

Congratulations to Barry and Sheila
Cassidy who celebrate 53 years together
on July 14.
Jennifer & Darren Ring, celebrating 24
years July 20th.

Canada Day was back in town this year and the fun loving crowd really appreciated it. Lots of music and games and food…and the fireworks were amazing..thanks to Teresa Dawson, Darryl Jelfs and Glen Rice. But the big thanks goes to Teresa Henshaw who got the celebration back into the day in Bear River, and her amazing crew of volunteers. That’s what a community is all about isn’t it? Or is it what Canada is all about?
Rodent Race winners
1st – Julie Harris with Silver the Gerbil
2nd – Skylar Harris with Winchester the Gerbil
Pet Fashion Show winners
1st – Julie Harris with Mia the goat
2nd – Abby Meuse with Doozer in the baby stroller
3rd – Sonya Dondale with Chloe the Yorkie
The event was partially sponsored by Karen Mansfield
The Vintage Bear River Photo Contest winners
1st – Valerie Wilcox with collage of her Miller grandparents wedding.
2nd – Francois Bellefontaine with a photo of WWI with young Bear River men in uniform taken on the Oakdene ball field.
3rd – Valerie Wilcox with a panorama of Lake Joli Mill.
This event was sponsored by Bear River Millyard Recreation.

Cherry Carnival
This year’s Cherry Carnival celebrates 122 years of cherriness in Bear River on July 18th. That’s a lot to celebrate…so of course there will be all the beloved events including the street parade in the morning , the greased pole in the afternoon, and the fabulous fireworks at night. Don’t miss all the fun in between either. Check out the posters around town. Out wonderful volunteer fire department puts a lot of work into making this day a success and deserve everyone’s support…be there or be square!

The Bear River Board of Trade finally did someting but it wasn’t anything to brag about. In fact it is pretty awful. You can read all about it at thebearrivertides.com.
In the meantime, the Bof T continues to ignore the waterfront park and the Green Lantern Building, both of which have become town eyesores.
Larry Knox, pres., Duff Wilson, Vice Pres, Dan Lagan, secretary, Chris Tibbs, treasurer, directors: Jon Welch, Kelly Foxton, Rob Buckland-Nicks, Kris Murdock, Ken Fleet.

New Horizons
New Horizons are once again serving their delicious cold plate luncheon from 12 to 1;30 on Cherry Carnival Day. What’s a cold plate luncheon you ask? It includes potato salad, cole slaw, ham, a roll, and tea or coffee.

Pat on the Back
Big thanks to Brad LeJeune who saw how bad the waterfront park looked and went home and got his lawn mower. Obviously the B of T isn’t going to do it, so someone has to. Great Job!

The Bear River Trading Company is having a facelift and important renovations done and while there are a lot of complaints about the colors, at least it is looking fresh again.

a fresh coat

a fresh coat

Summer in Bear River 2015

Published July 10, 2015 by oddacity designs

After the winter from HELL and the late spring, summer is at last underway. Now that we have Canada Day under our belt, we can sit back and watch the gardens grow…. and there are some pretty wonderful gardens in the village!

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Canada Day in Bear River

Published July 9, 2015 by oddacity designs

The Bear River Board of Trade abandoned the sponsorship of the Canada Day celebrations a few years ago, for lack of vision and volunteers. But happily the Bear River Legion decided to fill the void and put the party back into the holiday. Teresa Henshaw, organizer extraordinaire took on the task and rounded up the veteran and skilled volunteers and it all added up to a great day of food, fun, music and camaraderie.  And a truly great display of fireworks…WOW!

The photos tell the story…

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Rodent Race winners

1st  – Julie Harris with Silver the Gerbil

2nd – Skylar Harris with Winchester the Gerbil
Pet Fashion Show winners

1st  –  Julie Harris with Mia the goat

2nd – Abby Meuse  with Doozer in the baby stroller

3rd – Sonya Dondale with Chloe the Yorkie

The event was partially sponsored by Karen Mansfield

The Vintage Bear River Photo Contest winners

1st  – Valerie Wilcox with collage of her Miller grandparents wedding.

2nd – Francois Bellefontaine with a photo of WWI with young Bear River men in uniform taken on the Oakdene ball field.

3rd – Valerie Wilcox with a panorama of Lake Joli Mill.

This event was sponsored by Bear River Millyard Recreation

BIG THANKS to those who helped  Teresa Henshaw with the Bear River Canada Day Celebration, all day! They are Bob Benson, John Masters, Gary Hurlock, David Chamberland, Suzanne Jacques, Jack Fuller,
Drew Bradley,
Doug Robicheau, Mark Pettipas, Manwel Taylor, Kim Trimper, Ruth Darres, Bonnie MacLeod, François Bellefontaine, Paula Prime, Shannon Trimper, Karen Smith for having the nail painting booth, Darryl Jelfs, Teresa Dawson, for doing an excellent job executing the Fireworks, Glenn Rice, (fireworks prep.) the Legion Ladies Auxiliary for providing the supper & the Bear River Legion for hosting. Also thanks to the businesses in Digby, Cornwallis & Bear River who donated to this event, all their contributions made this event much better. I hope everyone who attended had a great day outdoors on our Country’s birthday! I’m proud of the job we did…(signed Teresa Henshaw  )


So now we are back into the swing of things and have restored Canada Day to where it belongs, lets make it bigger and better next year….see you there!


Published December 22, 2013 by oddacity designs

There may be a few Scrooges and Grinches in Bear River, but most of  the folks around town still know how to celebrate the season. Our fabulous volunteer fire department came through with another village Christmas tree this year, and the trees and candy canes across town makes the town a special “Bear River festive”.  The folks up on Landsdowne Rd. really got into the spirit with their amazing array of Christmas lights.  Even the Flight of Fancy got into the act.

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Then there are the Christmas, “must do” events.  Since it is Noel Lalonde’s  birthday, Myrtle and Rosie’s has a special Friday night celebration, and this year everyone was supposed to put on the dog.  Diane, stole the show and declared herself the winner in an outfit created for her by Zoë , and everyone had to agree!

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For thirty years, give or take, the Greenland crowd has put on a Christmas concert, that has become famous, and rightly so. With the talents of the Hewey family and the Greg Peck family, how could it go wrong?  The little church gets standing room only crowds.  With guest appearances from Elvis and Red Green, we can understand why! We are truly blessed to have such people of talent in our community.

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And then there are those who really know how to go over the top when it comes to Christmas decor.  Right here in Bear River is someone who devotes herself and her home to every aspect of the festive season. Talk about extreme decorating.  Wow, is all we can say. ( Some of these acquaintances do look like hobos!)

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A Walk Down Memory Lane….. Part one

Published November 24, 2013 by oddacity designs

One hundred years ago, the Clarke family ruled Bear River.  Many of them left in the 20’s and 30’s  for a variety of reasons.  Atlee Clark , son of W.W. Clarke and Mary Etta Chute,  was one of those and he suffered from severe homesickness.  To relieve the pain and relive the memories, he wrote the following memories, based on geographic landmarks.  Some of the notations are hard to decipher, but are included for accuracy.

Bear River, Annapolis County, beginning with Seth Wade hill and continuing into town

Seth Wade

Jim Trimper and family, a real bunch

Gus Copeland and Family

Asa Walsh and family, elderly couple

Kniffen Rd (old post rd)  At top of Kniffen hollow Rd. a family of Myron Chute and son apparently living alone.

Steve Kniffen and family.  Daughter Mary went to school with me, had a son Roy.

Dan Marvin, place bought by Peter McGregor (Elsie Henshaw farm)

Rice chap moved from head of the tide (possible Elmer Rice)

Other side of Kniffen Hollow was Joe Warren and family and Cliff Copeland

Wm. (Billie) McCormack and son, Earl, married to Edna Coombs

Continuing from Asa Walsh on Main Rd.

Earl and Edna McCormack  and family.  Moved down with father from old Milbury home.  I think Ira McCormick moved out and Earl moved in.

WW Clarke orchard sold to Geo. Oickle.

Truman Hamilton; later Cecil Miller, married to Hazel Oikle.

Mrs. Scott and colored chap, Otis Myers.  Later bought by Major and Amanda Symonds Below road: Rogers family, later Howard and Viola Cress.

WG Clarke and Nancy Marshall lived three houses below with family.  Eldest Ethel was drowned.  Edith Nancy and Josephine.

Between barn and their home, Fowler Robinson, who worked for W.G. Clarke as handyman.  Then Walter Brown bought it.

W.E. Read and family.  Kate, Fred, Ruth, Willard, Stuart, Bruce.  Now Bruce and wife.

error: Between Read and Robinson lived Harvey Marshall, a carpenter, who I think is closely related to Nancy Marshall, wife of WG Clarke, possibly a brother.

Harding and Elizabeth (Rice) Chute, parents of Herbert Chute who was apparently lost at sea, daughter Maryetta Chute, wife of WW Clarke.  Home passed to AB Clarke (son) on his marriage to Grace Edna Moore.  They rented to Joe Steadman, Joe Mc Kenna (bank manager) and sold to Commander Hood from the Cornwallis base on his retirement.

Eddie Troop and Sam Stevens and family.

Harry Mason and family, then Charles Crabbe and family.  Then a barn. House removed by BC Clarke.

Barn, now gone and Riverview annex built by BC Clarke.  Later closed and rented to Morine family, present use unknown.

Just beyond barn next to Mason house occupied by John Morine, engineer of SS Bear River.  When boat was sold, it was replaced by a converted corvette of steel.  So cold, crew was miserable.  Disposal unknown.  Morine moved to Greenland.  Prior to that, he accused Ira Clarke who was rabbit hunting of shooting one of his cows.  Dad investigated and found it was another person.

RIGHT HAND SIDE TO BRIDGE (Clementsvale Rd. off to left)

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Field with small building roadside, used by Alpheus Chute as storage for  building moving equipment. Later used by undertaker for coffin storage, also a polling booth. (photo 1)

Alpheus Chute and family (Lizzie) .  Winnie younger daughter who married Fred Woodworth. Lizzie worked for Clarke Bros as steno for many years.  Annie married Laurie Nicholson, went to USA, returning every year after his death until the 70’s.  Harry went west to Edmonton.  House still vacant. (photo 2)

Capt.L. Brinton and family.  Harold (Annie) Brinton who died a short time ago.

Church of England, burned and rebuilt.  Rector Rev. A.W.L. Smith of Clements Parish (photo 3)

Old School, burned and rebuilt.  Contractor, Howard Snell.  Could not finish job and finished by ES Langinne of Wolfville.  I was checker of materials. Lumber bought from J. Cunningham, and had to reject large quantities die to poor quality.  Les Fairn was architect and material for building was far in excess of what was needed and much was returned or not used, so original plans were altered and some needed stuff was omitted.  Original plans specified lighting to light a big town and would have cost a fortune so was left out.  Stage had a large number of colored lights specified enough for a New York show. (photo 4)

John Yorke, kept stables. Drove mail to Deep Brook Stn each day. Wife ran millinery shop in basement. He was a farrier, wheelwright.  Family, Dimock, John and Fanny.  Dimock later barbered on addition to Schmidt’s store. (photo 5)

Methodist Church (photo 6)

Dr. Ellison: daughter married W.M. Romans bank manager. After May’s death, Roman married a Milligan (Jessica) and after his death, she lived there many years.  (photo 7)

John Moore and family.  Mary (Hubbard) Elizabeth (spinster) Horace.  They moved away to USA  House rented to Tom Wright and family….Dr. WM Wright (geologist) Clyde and Viola who were half kin to Wm. Later, Horace, Lizzie and Mary Hubbard moved back where they passed away.  House became property of Mel Parker who married Geraldine Purdy.  Now they are both deceased. (photo 8)

W.W.Clarke and Mary Etta Chute and family of  Harry (died of scarlet fever) Atlee, Carrel, Ira.  Atlee married Grace Edna Moore, Ira married Minnie Baldwin of Gravesend, England and Carrel married Anna Schneider of Oswego, NY whom he met at Acadia.  She passed away in May 1967 and he is now married to the widow of Bill Ryan and living in Dartmouth.  His family of Ruth and Wallace are living in Ottawa with their children.  Wallace has three girls and Ruth has three boys, two of whom are married.  Wallace is thinking of retirement from Northern Electric.

WW Clarke property sold to Dr Campbell after death of WW and Mary Etta Clarke.  After death of WW Clarke in 1932, Charles Green and wife lived with Mary Etta Clarke until her death in 1940.  The sons of WW Clarke have all passed away except Carrel.  House was sold to Dr. Campbell after being rented for a very short time to a shyster doctor who did not  pay board and was booted out.  Rented to Lincoln pulp employee O’Keefe who moved to Annapolis. Then sold and Dr. Campbell brought in Dr. Rowton who was a good MD. but his wife was an oddball. He moved to Bridgewater and house went to Chester Kaulback , married to Mary Oickle.  He moved barbershop to small building  built down from house at street. Sold it to some woman who ran an apt. set up for elderly, older and infirm people and carved it to several apartments..  Do not know its present use or disposal.( photo 9)

Chester built a small house next to Clarke property while in Clarke house and another on the Kelly property Charlie Murphy Dunn lived in back.  Do not know much about them. Later, GWVA rented to McLean family.  No knowledge about present use

219th Regiment (I think) looked after by Alphy Banks and often kegs of rum kept under uniforms and supplied by Genps Sanford(sic).  When used by GWVA it was a place for card playing by cronies every day.  Back of bldg. large barn for oxen used by Clarke Bros. drivers George Tupper, JP and collector of customs. Upstairs C. Phinney harness maker.  At back, Charlie Wilson bicycle repairs.  Then Murphy Dunn, cobbler.  Later John Freeman took over Phinney harness maker and leather work. (photo 10)

Down Wharf Rd to river.  Clarke Bros. stables for draft horses, warehouses for all kinds of building materials, wharves full of lumber and piling, storage for all kinds of ships needs such as ropes, tar, pitch, rosin, lime, cement etc. Private stables for driving horses, family cow etc. Hostler, Charlie Garnam who considered himself an authority on horse flesh.  Later stable became used for storing flour and feed, and upstairs all kinds of building materials such as sheathing, flooring, rope, barrels etc.  this was at the back of WW Clarke home.  Both his home and that of John Moore extended all the way back to the river. (photo 11)

W.E. Liller, foreman at Lake Jolly and family.  Roy, Annie, Clara.  He lived at large house at Lake Jolly until after mill closed or in winter time.  Then occupied by Ralph Purdy   and then Waldo Chute. Now occupant unknown.  Below was union bank of Halifax, later Royal Bank.  When bank moved, Howard Cunningham office. All buildings to the Masonic Lodge were owned by Clarke Bros. and used for house furnishings etc. Later for pulp company offices.  When pulp company folded, upstairs badminton.(photo 12)

WW Wade, General store and penny goods.  Daughter Hattie, milliner.   Later O.A. Eisner store.  Then Mrs. Hubley Tea Room

Fred Schmidt Store.  Run by widow for some years after his death.  For a short time run by a Mrs. Rice from Head of the Tide.  In same area, Ira and Gladys McCormick ran a store.Howard Cress lived upstairs and I think McCormacks lived there a few years. Tacked on to store was a small converted storeroom where Dimock Yorke did barbering. (photo 13)

Clarke Bros. wharf for SS Bear River and warehouses for storage of clothes,pins, sheathing, shingles, etc. Also part used by O.A. Eisner,  a cooper.  He later opened a store below Masonic Hall. Moved to Lawrencetown with family and store taken over by Mrs. Hubley as tea room. Facing street across from LV Harris, a small separate building. Upstairs Frank Burrage, a tailor with seamstress, Mrs Letteney, helped by Helen Ford who Burrage later married.  Later, Vernon Peck barbered in the lower part.

This about completes South side as far as I can remember. There may be a few errors due to some names not being remembered as to first names.

now gone buildings on warterfront

now gone buildings on waterfront

editor’s note:  On the left hand side of this photo you can see some of the buildings that are mentioned in Atlee Clarke’s remembrances. The large white one in the middle is the  wharf and warehouse for SS Bear River. Further to the left are the other buildings mentioned in the paragraph beginning with “W.E. Liller ..”

main st. in the 1920's

main st. in the 1920’s

The right hand side of the photo is what the village looked like when Atlee Clarke remembers.  Note the extra building where the entrance to wharf rd. is now…next the 2 buildings where the Legion now stands and then the Mason’s Hall. After the gap is what was W.W. Wade General store, later O.A. Eisnor’s and Mrs. Hubley’s Tea Room.  The last building is the Fred Schmidt store.  Note the Bandstand right before the bridge.

The Great Oakdene Art Event

Published November 10, 2013 by oddacity designs

As if the fabulous color outside wasn’t enough, the group at Oakdene Center flung open the doors to strut their stuff to the community at large.   The studios were cleaned and gussied up and the art beautifully displayed.

A gala opening was held on Friday,  Oct. 18th with food and music and even some wine.  And the event ran through Saturday and Sunday with lots of lookers.

The Oakdene studio artists are Ken Flett,  Rebekah Wetmore, Claire Thorbes, Kelli Jansen, Joan Stanley, Michael Jacques, and Kelly Foxton.

In addition to the studio artists, several other members of the village hung their art, including Sandy Leonard, Cathy Banks, Cheryl Stone, Ann Zimmerman, Craig Dorsey, Gary Fraser,  Marilyn Preus and what art exhibit would be complete without something from Flora Doehler!

See for yourself….

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Claire Thorbes does portraits of pets.  If you would like to commission a work, you can contact her at 467-0518, or clare.thorbes@gmail.com.  Visit clarethorbes.com for more examples of her work.

Rebeckah Wetmore recently moved to the area from Massachusetts.   You can see more of her work at rhwetmore.com