Join the Local History Geocache created by the Callander Bay Heritage Museum and the Callander Public Library!
The Callander Bay Heritage Museum and Callander Public Library have created this cache for your enjoyment. The reference waypoints show you historical sites with images of then and now. We hope you enjoy your visit and as you learn about the history of our town.
The reference waypoints below show you each historical site with images of then and now!
This cache is a great one for beginners or families.
In 1915 the jail sat where the current Cenotaph is is at the corner of Lansdowne and High street. Dr. Dafoe would have been living in the house across the road at this time (now the Museum). In 1887, the town council set the rates for jury duty at $1.50 per day. Callander, North Himsworth at the time, once had its own police force until the North Bay Police took over those duties.
The Great Fire
On Monday April 20, 1931, the Pacific Hotel at the corner of Main and Lansdowne caught fire and quickly spread. The fire raged on for 3 hours and 150 men had stepped up to help. Once extinguished, the CNR railway station, the Pacific Hotel, a meat and pastry shop, the confectionery and ice cream store, and the grocery store had all burned down. The fire was travelling north up Lansdowne St. towards the Dafoe Home, Jail and Town Hall, but the wind changed direction at the last moment.
In April 1937 famous aviator Amelia Earhart was one of many celebrities who came to see the Dionne Quintuplets and visit
Dr. Dafoe at his house (now the museum). This photo shows her and the doctor standing on the porch. Only 10 weeks later
her plane disappeared over the South Pacific Sea during her attempt to be the first person to circumnavigate the globe.
What happened to her remains a mystery to this day.
The Monkeys Were Loose!
On June 4, 1950, a circus train passing through Callander skipped the tracks, leaving 14 box cars blocking the street for 12 hours. Although the animals were loose, there were no serious injuries. Note the monkey in the right photo and the photo above shows the boxcars strewn across Lansdowne. The gas station at the bottom right in that photo is the same gas station at the corner of Main and Lansdowne today, and the building to the left is where the stairs for the plaza are.
The Red Cross
The Red Cross Outpost, now a private home, was located on Main Street across from Memory Tree Park. The Bonfield outpost was the only one in the district until 1937 when the four-room building, where the resident nurse would live, was built. The Red Cross arranged for the shipment of breast milk to Corbeil during the early days of the Dionne Quintuplets' birth when it was desperately needed to help the sisters survive. The man to the left in this photo is Dr. Dafoe.
The dock located at the end of Lansdowne was originally owned by the Grand Trunk Railway and later the Canadian National Railway. The dock was acquired by the Federal Government during WWII and by the Municipal Government in 1999. A major storm wiped out the dock in 2005 and it was rebuilt in 2014. A coaling station was located here where steamships would come and refill their fuel supply as they burned coal for power.
Callander was a mill town due to the abundance of white pine in the area and Centennial park is where the lumber piles would be stacked for storage and to dry out. The Smith Mill and the lumber yards closed in 1967 and, as part of the Canadian
Centennial celebrations that same year, the yards were turned into a park for the town to enjoy.