Recreation booms, liquor infractions top news

Recreation appeared to boom in 1932 when the Amateur Athletic Commission was established in May to promote amateur athletic sports in the town.
The commission would have complete charge of the new athletic field donated by the town and on which the baseball club was building a diamond.
Officially opened on July 11 of that year, the new baseball diamond located north of the CN tracks boasted a grandstand to provide seating for 300.
Meanwhile, the new shale courts of the Fort Frances Tennis Club were officially opened in May beside the courthouse. The club was praised for providing modern playing facilities and well-equipped courts.
In January, the local Kiwanis Club sponsored the Juvenile Hockey League. Four teams—named the Tibbett’s Tom Cats, Pearson’s Pups, McTaggart’s Rats, and Fleas—competed on Wednesday “Kiwanis Night” at the arena.
The formation of a district hockey league in December saw four teams competing from Rainy River to Fort Frances. A team from the reserve, the Quakers from Fort Frances, the East End Rangers, and the official junior team, the Blackhawks, had a full schedule of games from Dec. 22-Feb.18.
In September, 250 youth had met to form a Boys’ Club. Meeting at the Orange Hall and the high school gym, the intention was to do everything possible to develop our boys physically—and to help them to become better citizens.
Sidewalk construction to Pither’s Point was part of the relief program for the unemployed. The rip-rapping and concrete sidewalk extended from Colonization Road to Second Street. Nearly 100 men were given employment on the project, which had been needed for years for people walking to the beach.
Opened under management of the Parks Board, a new cafeteria was installed at the tourist camp at Pither’s Point. “The modern, up-to-date cafeteria service would supply lunches for tourists, the angler, and the enthusiastic golfer in pursuit of his favourite pastime.”
Of special note was “an electric tank to ensure a supply of plenty of hot water upon arrival at the campgrounds, the first requisite after a long, dusty day’s drive.”
Council saw some changes as final steps were in place for the division of the town into wards for municipal elections. The January appointment of town officers included salaries for the clerk, J.W. Walker, and treasurer H.E. Marr set at $180; Fire Chief R.E. Readman at $126; telephone operators at $66.50; the sanitary and weed inspector, Thos. Crowe, at $60; and the milk inspector, H.G. Calder, at $80 plus $5 for gas.
Liquor infractions also were deemed newsworthy in 1932. One local man was fined and jailed for having a still with the capacity of 80 gallons.
The manager of the Fort Frances Hotel was sentenced for having liquor for sale. A keg of beer stronger than the legal 4.4 was seized from the basement and beer was found in Room 38.
In December, $40,000 worth of liquor was seized at Ranier when 79 barrels of whisky were found in a carload of shingles billed from a lumber company in Winnipeg en route to Chicago.
With the exception of a small quantity kept for evidence, the entire carload was dumped into the Rainy River. It was noted that “the proceedings attracted quite a crowd and many the cup, tin can, and even pail were used by those in the crowd in an effort to scoop up some the liquid Christmas cheer from the ice.”
It was noted as a “Venerable Fiz in Backus Suit” when E.J. Callaghan demanded $14,600 for a vault and storage built for E.W. Backus to store cases of 1915 champagne bought in France.
The fire and burglarproof vault housed several carloads of liquor which were under scrutiny for importation and regulations that a person could not have or keep liquor in Ontario other than in his private residence.
In world news in 1932, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby and the flight of Amelia Earhart—becoming the first woman to fly the ocean alone—were making the headlines.
One hundred years! One hundred ideas! One hundred volunteers! The year 2003 should be for celebrating community—let’s make it one to remember.