schooner emerges again to offer another chapter
BY DOUG BROWN, president Bayfield HIstorical Society***
Sometime in late September a mysterious wooden structure appeared on the beach at Bayfield near the foot of Delevan Street. (Photo by Doug Brown)
Sometime in late September a mysterious wooden structure appeared on the beach at Bayfield near the foot of Delevan Street. Speculation about the origins of this structure ranged from part of an old dock or pier to a piece of ruins from the Malta.
What the Malta may have looked like during her glory days. (Submitted photo)
It has been brought to the attention of the Bayfield Historical Society that under the old Canada Shipping Act, 1985 and the new CSA, 2001, there is a department called the Receivers of Wreck (ROW) and its designated officials act as custodians of a wreck in the absence of the rightful owner. However, some wrecks of historical or archaeological significance are not to be disturbed and are legally protected as cultural or historical resources. They cannot be disturbed without appropriate authorization.
Wreck of the Malta circa 1888. (Submitted photo)
Phil Gemeinhardt, of Bayfield, who is a knowledgeable boat historian, believes this structure found on the beach belongs to the Malta and is actually a piece of the keelson and frames which is the backbone of this schooner that was built in 1853 in a St. Catherines shipyard owned by Louis Shickluna. The Malta was 137.5 feet in length, 23.5 feet wide and 0.9 feet deep.
This three-masted schooner or bark carried railway ties, telegraph poles and salt on the great lakes. On Nov. 24, 1892, Captain Henry Buckley and his schooner were struggling in a wild storm on Lake Huron and it ran aground south of the Bayfield Harbour. Apparently local fishermen and Orangemen helped the crew of ten safely off the ship. Local stories claim that the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 24 of Bayfield was having a banquet in the upper rooms of T.J. Mark’s Hall that later became Graham’s General Store. It was the lights from these rooms that Captain Buckley thought were the lights from the Port of Goderich as he steered his schooner east. After the rescue the Malta was left to her fate. Gemeinhardt claimed that the age and condition of the Malta made it unsalvageable.
Gairdner children exploring the Malta ruins at the beach near Bayfield Harbour. (Submitted photo)
However, at the time, residents of Bayfield did take cooking utensils, crocks, lamps and other furnishings from the Malta. It has been reported that her masts were made into shingles, fish boxes and even cut into heavy lumber. During the next 70 years the Malta was shifted as the results of numerous storms. In 1952 it was floated and dashed against the shore by a storm and about two years later another storm took her out and broke the hull in two.
Phil Gemeinhardt, of Bayfield, who is a knowledgeable boat historian, believes this structure found on the beach belongs to the Malta and is actually a piece of the keelson and frames which is the backbone of this schooner that was built in 1853. (Photo by Doug Brown)
A rudder weighing 1,500 pounds from the Malta was found in 1974 by Mike and Wes Gozzard south of the wreck. It was mounted in cement on the lawn of their home and now located in front of the North Castle Marine in Goderich. Over the years, Gemeinhardt and his ancestors have retrieved and collected several items from the ship including iron spikes, deadeyes, a cherry cabin door, four brass locks, two mast hoops and two large pulleys.
Another interesting historical tidbit happened when Louie McLeod built the Helen McLeod II. A piece of wood from the Malta was included in the construction as his father, Hugh, had done when building the Helen McLeod I.
***With files from: “The Malta Re-Visited" by Phil Gemeinhardt; “Ghost story: Malta Wreck Revisited” by Bud Sturgeon and “Corporation of the Village of Bayfield History 1876 - 1985” edited by Edward Oddleifson.
Classic tale of Scrooge to be presented for hospice
“A Christmas Carol” the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly and transformative Christmas Eve encounters, will be presented as a fundraiser for the Huron Residential Hospice in the form of a dramatic reading interspersed with seasonal music on Dec. 16-17.
Harp and flute duo “Ninn’s Folly”, comprised of brother/sister musicians John Webber and Beth MacKenzie will entertain with Victorian Christmas classics while members of local choirs The Glee Sisters and St. Andrew’s United Church will join together to perform carols and lead the audience singalong.
Retired drama teacher John Lalor will be directing the performance and will also take on a reading part. Other dramatic narrators include Bayfield author and thespian Judy Keightley, and local ministers Dwight Nelson and Elise Feltrin. Pianist and music teacher Mary McGoldrick, who has recently retired to Bayfield, will provide musical accompaniment. Rob Bundy will host the event that will take place in the seasonally decorated sanctuary of St. Andrew’s United Church.
Organizers hope to fill the audience for the two performances: Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and again on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Thanks to the generosity of local sponsors Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy, Bayfield Autopro Garage and Precision Print in Goderich, the entire proceeds will go to the Huron Residential Hospice with particular focus towards the Bayfield project of creating a welcoming and well-equipped children’s playroom.
Tickets are $15, now available at Michael’s Pharmacy and Shop Bike Coffee in Bayfield, or by calling Arlene at 519 565-2777.
Following each performance, and again with appreciation to the sponsors, cider and shortbread will be served.
some wreaths still available
Members of the Bayfield Agricultural Society sold evergreen wreaths and tails over the Christmas in Bayfield weekend in front of St. Andrew's United Church. Missed out? Never fear some wreaths are still available. (Photo by John Pounder)
The lights on Clan Gregor Square have been turned on, the parade wound around the village, and Santa has made his first appearance. These are sure signs that folks all need to be getting ready for Christmas.
The Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) can make people’s decorating easier if anyone needs a wreath or an evergreen tail. There are a few left after the sale this past weekend. These can be seen at the Siertsema’s by calling 519 565-2479 or order one through Don Brodie at 519 263-2404. The wreaths and tails are all made from local greens and the money goes to support the upcoming fair in August 2018.
A highlight for the BAS is the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This will be held in the basement of St. Andrew’s United Church on Nov. 24. Food is always a major focus of the organization so the evening begins with a potluck dinner with people arriving at 5:30 p.m. with the meal beginning at 6 p.m. There is always lots of food with the main course for many being the desserts. Special awards will be presented at 7:15-9 p.m. for members with years of service as well as two very distinctive Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies’ Awards – one achievement and one meritorious.
David Pullen, County Forest Conservation officer, will speak at 7:30 p.m. tying together forestry, fishing, and farming which is the theme for 2018. Pullen is well known for his presentations and he is looking forward to speaking in Bayfield and sharing his views on his passion – the preservation of forestry land. The AGM will begin at 8 p.m. to summarize what the current year achieved and put the people in place for organizing the goals for 2018. Everyone is welcome to any portion of the evening to learn a little about the organization and what its mandate is.
The Society is planning to take on a major building project in the coming months. The pet display building is now past its prime and needs some major renovations and the decision was to replace it entirely. There is also a need to store paper, ribbon, and boxed supplies in one location. A plan is to build a 30 x 50 foot structure solely for storage and then for use as a pet display building during the fair.
According to Doug Yeo, representing the BAS, building costs have increased considerably over the past few months due to forest fires in B.C. and hurricanes in Florida. This has put the cost to nearly $100 000.
“Supporters of the BAS and its work are asked to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can begin a conversation about how you can help us achieve our goals. This is one time when we really do need our supporters. It has been a long time since a building was contemplated,” said Yeo.
crowd brings the magic to the lighting of the lights
PHOTOS BY DIANNE BRANDON
Santa, with assistance from Mrs. Claus, spent some time with the children who lined up to greet him after the lights came on.
Weather wise it was a typical November evening – cold and damp – but the Lighting of the Lights in Clan Gregor Square is anything but typical as the crowd that gathers bring the magic of the season with them.
The Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) hosted their 26th annual ceremony on Nov. 17.
The Huron Centennial School band performed holiday tunes prior to the lighting.
A BACC representative, and the Mayor of Bluewater, Tyler Hessel, brought greetings and welcomed visitors.
Singer-songwriter, Ryan Malcolm, was given the honor of leading the count down to the switching on of the lights. And as the lights twinkled across the park, the Bayfield fire truck arrived carrying a very special guest. Santa Claus made his first appearance in the village for 2017 and spent a lot time visiting with youngsters and posing for pictures.
The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society members did a brisk business serving up hot dogs while the Bayfield Skating Club offered hot chocolate to those who attended the event.
Members of the Huron Centennial School Band performed seasonal music for the crowd that gathered for the lighting of the lights on Friday night.
Youngsters waited patiently through the speakers for the guest of honor to arrive.
Elise Brady, of Bayfield (looking at the camera), and her fellow band members from Huron Centennial School performed Christmas Carols leading up to Santa's arrival and the lighting of the lights.
This youngster was one of the first to have a visit with Santa at the Lighting of the Lights event held on Nov. 17.
Excitement was in the air as Santa Claus made his first appearance in Bayfield for 2017.
Ryan Malcolm sang a festive tune.
LAST CHANCE FOR THE BRASS BAND
On Friday, Nov. 24, all are welcome to come to the Bayfield Town Hall for a “Magical Evening of Christmas Music” featuring the London Citadel Salvation Army Band. Planning to attend? Reserve tickets now! At the moment, ticket sales are low, and organizers would hate to have to cancel this concert, knowing how many enjoy it every year. It is often a sold-out event. Tickets are $15 and are available from Patricia Baker at 519 955-1456 or Sandy Scotchmer at 519 565-2830. For over 20 years this wonderful group has provided Bayfield with an opportunity to come together as a community while getting into the holiday mood. Anyone who has not yet heard them, come and enjoy fabulous musicians filling the hall with a big brass sound! Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be rescheduled for Dec. 1. (Photo by Jack Pal)
Life at the rink
Twenty-four children came out to the Bayfield Arena on Monday, Nov. 13 to play pickup hockey for free. (Submitted photo)
People are never too old to lace up their skates and take to the ice for “Canada’s Game”. And they are never really too young either.
Twenty-four children came out to the Bayfield Arena on Monday, Nov. 13 to play pickup hockey for free. Supervisors were both amazed and thrilled as the dressing rooms echoed with excitement and once the sticks hit the ice everyone had a great time.
This free program run on Monday nights by the Bayfield Area Community Partners Association (BACPA) is made possible by the late John Robinson.
Robinson, a long-time Bayfield resident, died on Sept. 27 at the age of 88. His family noted that he wanted to see ice remain in the Bayfield Arena in the future. So at the time of his passing his family decided that in lieu of flowers donations could be made in support of the BACPA.
John Robinson Memorial Youth Pickup Hockey continues on Monday nights starting at 7 p.m. through the ice season.
Dec. 4 is the date for the much anticipated Bayfield Lions’ Annual Turkey Bingo.
The doors of the Bayfield Community Centre will open at 6:30 p.m. with the games starting at 7 p.m. Fifteen turkeys will be available to be won along with several Share-the-Wealth games. In addition a turkey will be offered as a door prize.
Admission remains at $5 per person and includes one Bingo Card. All are welcome!
Breakfast with Santa
The Bayfield Optimist Club is once again selling tickets on a fabulous hand made toy chest filled with toys for children of all ages.
Raffle tickets are available now from Optimist members. Toy chest tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
The draw will be made at 1 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the club’s 12th annual Breakfast with Santa this year being held at The Ashwood Inn starting at 11 a.m. and concluding at 1 p.m.
Please note that the breakfast has moved to Saturday to accommodate The Ashwood Bourbon Bar’s dining schedule.
The breakfast will cost $7 for adults and $3 for children; three and under are free.
BEST FOOD DRIVE EVER
On Nov. 18, the members of the Bayfield and Area Fire Department once again hosted their annual Food Drive at Bayfield Foodland starting things off by collecting donations along the route of the Santa Claus Parade to be given to the Bayfield Food Bank (Feed My Sheep). Both the fire fighters and the local food bank are most appreciative to the community for all of their support and generous donations! This may have been their best year yet! (Photo by Wayne Malott)
CHRISTMAS BUREAU DROPOFFS
The Huron County Christmas Bureau drop-off locations in Bayfield have been established for this year. New toys and clothing can be deposited into boxes at Bayfield Convenience, Bayfield Public Library, Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy or through Trinity Anglican Church, Knox Presbyterian Church or St. Andrew’s United Church.
Anyone wishing to volunteer with the Clinton Branch of the Bureau can call 519 482-5334.
A new book, Bayfield Cottages & Homes 1830s – 1920s, has been published by the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS). The project manager for the book, Ralph Laviolette and the researcher writer, Dianne Smith, will be talking about their work at our next community meeting on Monday, Nov. 27.
This presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bayfield Lions Community Building.
There have been many visitors to the Bayfield Archives who were curious about the history of their owned or rented homes or cottages. Some visitors had property search records while others had only verbal recollections of their properties history. So prompted by this interest and with a generous grant from an anonymous donor in 2013 the multi-year project began. The book will be available at this presentation as well as in the Heritage Centre starting the Christmas in Bayfield weekend. The book is selling for $20.
MAIN STREET OPTOMETRIC
Dr. Rich Samuell at Main Street Optometric wants to let Bayfield residents know that full eye health examinations are available at his Bayfield office.
Examinations are fully covered by OHIP for children and teens, seniors, and those with diabetes. Main Street Optometric uses current technology including a "no-puff" eye pressure check, as well as digital retinal photography to monitor for eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Please call 519 565-2300 to schedule an appointment.
A SMOOTH RIDE
The Intermediate grade students at Huron Centennial School recently used the power of cycling to make fruit smoothies using the “blender bike” borrowed from the Huron County Health Unit. This exercise proved to be a fun way to promote physical activity and healthy eating all in one! (Submitted photo)
dining for seniors
Where can you get roast beef with horseradish, mashed potatoes with gravy, hot vegetables, juice and cabbage salad followed by fruit crisp and ice cream for $9?
At Bayfield Dining for Seniors that’s where! The only stipulation is that you must be 55 years or over to partake in delicious menus like the example listed above. The social interaction that is served up with the meal is free.
Chef Dawne Erb from One Care will be preparing the holiday feast for service on Dec. 14 and it will be a traditional Christmas meal. Anyone who would like to join in a Thursday lunch served at the Bayfield Community Centre is asked to please contact Leslie Bald at 519 565-5637 by noon Monday the week of the meal.
Volunteers are always needed to help setup as well as serving, if you are interested please contact Bud Robinson at 519 440-8189.
LETTERS TO SANTA
Bayfield residents will be pleased to know that Santa Claus will once again be receiving mail in his special mailbox at Bayfield Foodland.
Santa’s elves delight in hearing from area youngsters and learning what is on their wish lists every year. Be sure to include a return address so that the children can be sure of a note in return from the jolly old elf himself.
SAVE OUR ICE
Petitions are now available to sign as part of the “One Vision One Plan” campaign.
The petition requests that Bluewater Council keep the ice in the Bayfield Arena past Spring 2018 while groups work together to determine the future needs of the community with regards to a new facility for all to enjoy. The petition can be found at The Spotted Cow, on Bayfield's Main Street North; at the Bayfield Arena and at the Bayfield Public Library.
The Bayfield Facilities Initiative Team (BFIT) and the Bayfield Arena Community Partners Association (BACPA) are jointly organizing the venture with the support of the Bayfield Optimist Club.
Ruth Gibson, of Bayfield, is the new owner of “The Canoe” a beautiful, framed, limited-edition print, by famous Canadian artist Tom Thomson. She had the highest bid in the silent auction held at the Bayfield Public Library, a fundraiser for the Bayfield River Valley Trails Association. The draw was made on Nov. 20. (Submitted photo)
The Home4Good Info Hub operates on Monday afternoons at the Bayfield Public Library from 1-3 p.m.
The Hub helps seniors in the Bayfield area find local community services, resources and supports. Volunteers will assist in finding relevant information for daily living, overall health and wellbeing. To learn more visit: www.home4goodbayfield.ca.
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
The Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) would like to invite all in the community to join them in some inclusive, neutral conversation over a cup of a hot brew.
“Coffee & Conversation” will be held at the Bayfield Public Library every Wednesday until March from 2-3:30 p.m.
This is a great opportunity for people to meet their neighbors, learn about the village and share their know how with others.
Girl Guide Cookies
Looking for a sweet stocking stuffer or hostess gift? Look no further than Bayfield Guiding. Members are now selling the Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies for $5 a box.
They can be purchased from members, by calling Melody Falconer-Pounder at 519 525-3830, or from The Pink Flamingo Bakery and Boutique on Bayfield’s Main Street.
Profits from sales help with program activities and field trips.
A GLEEFUL GRINCH AND THE WHOS
The Glee Sisters, together with the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society (BTHHS), explored the Dr. Suess tale, “The Grinch who Stole Christmas” in Story and Song with two shows on Nov. 18. And just in case you missed the show on the weekend, The Glee Sisters will be performing it again on Nov. 25 in the upstairs auditorium at the MacKay Centre for Seniors in Goderich starting at 2 p.m. Join performers such as, Sondra Buchner, Elise Feltrin and Roberta Stemp, as the Grinch, for a hilarious, heartwarming afternoon! Look for more photos from the concert in the next issue of the Bayfield Breeze. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)