Club 35

Geographic location: Lot ,10 Conc. 9, Stanhope

Current address: 17459 Hwy 35, Halls Lake

Date range: 1947 - 2015

Interesting facts:

Club 35 at Halls Lake was built by the community. According to Garth Mole the club started in the local school house.

November 9, 1972: Club 35 held a very successful Hallowe'en Dance, with the highlight of the evening being the unveiling of a lovely crystal ball. Mr. Albert Hart of Hall's Lake had spent the past year making the crystal ball, and it is quite a professional and beautiful creation which beautifies the club room, casting its miriad lights on the ceiling, walls and floors as it slowly turns. Floodlights catch its reflection from each corner of the room and makes it a room of beauty and adds atmosphere. Source:Haliburton Echo, Hall's Lake News.

June 19, 1975: Euchre games are being pretty well attended since the better weather has arrive, at Club 35 that is. For 50¢ a pleasant evening with neighbours and friends playing cards, a chance at winning a token prize, plus refreshments, all make for a good night out. Source: Haliburton Echo, Hall's Lake News.

Public access: No

Current use: Private home

Read Club 35: A Lasting Tradition from Minden & Area Magazine 1988

Origins of Club 35 by Louise Watson

Today the world is indeed a small place. Almost daily we hear of space vehicles circling the globe in a few minutes, and it is also possible now to travel to the moon. So it is hard for us to realize that in the 1840's it took the sailing ships many weeks, if not months, to cross the Atlantic from the old land to the new, as Canada was then.  There were many of the passengers who did not survive the journey and were buried at sea.
     Nevertheless the men and women who came to our shores were confident that honest toil would bring the reward of a good life in the new land. It required a lot of courage and endurance to clear the forests, build homes, and till the land, but it was accomplished.  Through determination and ingenuity they laid the foundations of our national character.
     Such were the men and women who came to this particular area.  The Government of the day were anxious to develop settlements in Haliburton, Muskoka, and elsewhere, and offered land free, sight unseen, to those who would "locate", which meant they must clear the land and build a house within a year. They would also have to have a barn and some stock. The settlers who came to this locality were mostly from some part of the British Isles, and many of them were quite talented people, lured by the promise of free land. It must have been almost a terrifying experience when faced with poor soil, the innumerable stones, rocks and hills, and knowing that somehow they had to make a living out of it, but somehow they did. It must have been particularly hard for the women folk, who not only had to share in the outside work, but also to cook, sew, clean, and try to make the home as comfortable as possible - not to mention bearing children, with the nearest doctor many miles away. They often had to cope with everything alone in the winter months too, when the men would go to the lumber camps to earn money for extra food, implements, stock, and seed for the next year's planting. It was not uncommon to hear lynx crying or wolves howling in the winter nights.
     One such pioneer woman was Rose Davies, fondly known as "Aunt Rose" for miles around. She was my closest neighbor when we moved here from Toronto in 1965. She was of Welsh stock and came with her parents when but three weeks old. She had a storehouse of memories and loved to tell me about the early days. Even as a small child she helped with the farm, both in the house and in the fields. She longed for knowledge to read and write, and when schools were built she walked four miles morning and evening. Sometimes she could not be spared from the work, but went as often as she could. There were no compulsory laws then and most children, if they went at all, left at an early age. In the years of her marriage she bore five children and lost three of them through illnesses. Her son, Robert, and his wife Norma helped in building the hall.     The work of the settlers was hard, but they helped each other and always found time for visiting one another, sharing an evening for music, dancing, singing, and telling stories about the land they had left behind. One of the social events for the women was the "Quilting Bee". This was held in someone's house, and great preparations were made for the women of the community to come and work on a quilt. The art of quilt making had been developed in the “old land", based on the need for protection from the cold, and the theory that two thicknesses of cloth were warmer than one. The art is still carried on extensively in Canada, but with more ease than in those days.
     As more settlers came and the community grew and developed the need for schools became urgent. Two were built in this vicinity - one on the Buck Slides road, where Althea Gartshore taught in later years, also Cora Hewitt; the other on the Hawk Lake Road on the hill near Edith Russell's home, where the Manon family now have their summer place. Two churches were also built – St. Stephen's on the Buck Slides Road, and St. Peter's at Maple Lake. These were focal points for the settlers to gather on a Sunday.
     As the years passed, the children grew up, married, and had children of their own. The pattern of life began to change as these young people developed different interests and different forms of entertainment. However there were those who still carried on the same forms of social activity as they were used to and the school on the Hawk Lake Road became the gathering place for young and old on a Saturday night. This was the beginning of the Club, although it did not as yet have a specific name. Still, they held organized meetings in the old school and kept minutes.  Norma Davies (daughter-in-law of Rose Davies) was one of the first secretaries.
     Later on when the school fell into disuse, Bill and Amy Cooper donated a piece of land on Highway 35 for a Club building. The men and women of the community set to work to build a Club House. They volunteered their talents and whatever time they could - raised money for materials in whatever way they could, raffles, donations, parties, etc., and soon the building itself was erected. Then came the job of finishing inside and acquiring some furnishings.
     Art Welch (Edith Russell's brother) who used to operate the present Esso station, built a furnace to heat the building. It was a wood burning one, and heat was piped to the upstairs hall and circulated, through a large round register in the floor. It served the purpose quite well until it became necessary to install an up-to-date heating system.  The women volunteers stapled the insulation batts on the walls and the men followed up with gyproc panels and the ceiling.
     Bill Gartshore and Art Welch went to Toronto and brought up a second-hand piano which Bill used to play, and it is still in use. Harold Sedgwick made the benches for seating which were placed along the walls, and some long wooden tables which still come in handy on occasion. He also made a beautiful wooden lamp to be raffled. It was made of cherry wood, molded and varnished. Edith and I visited him recently and he showed us another one just like it which he uses in his living room. Some wooden chairs were donated, dishes were given by St. Stephen's Church. Some of them may still be found in the downstairs cupboards. Curtain materials were purchased and the women made up curtains and hung them. Curtains for the stage were also purchased. The building was opened in 1947 and the Club now had its own place. It was christened "CLUB 35", and to mark the occasion Harold Sedgwick made a box to hold playing cards and bearing the words "Club 35 1947". It was placed on the back wall of the stage and remained there until the recent pane11ing was done.
     The Club held dances and card parties frequently. Music was contributed by Bill Gartshore on the piano and Bill Cooper on his violin. In more recent years Edith's son, Elmer Russell, and his two boys often provided the music for dancing. Elmer is gone now but his youngest son, Stewart, has a band and played for one of the Stanhope Firemen's dances this year, as well as at West Guilford community hall. Now, of course, the Club has a good stereo system for any music requirements, and a good store of records. Bill Donnelly is the Club's "Mister Music Man" and he takes very good care of the equipment, and selects the records for dancing.
     Over the years many of the men and women of the community held the offices of President and Secretary-Treasurer. When my husband and I joined it was the two Johnson brothers, Jack and Bill. Then there was Ken Johnson and Gordon Stiver - all of them now gone. Election of Officers used to be by secret ballot, as stipulated in the Constitution and By-laws. Acceptance of new members was voted on, and still is.
     The Club House has been used quite often by other groups and organizations - Bowling teams for their annual banquets, Wedding Receptions - Family Reunions, & Anniversary celebrations (Bill and Althea celebrated their Fiftieth last year) - and St. Stephen's Ladies' Guild hold their Bazaar every summer. At this affair quilts have a prominent place. They are beautiful too, and have been made by the Guild Members over the winter.  The Municipality, the Province, and the Federal Administration use the hall for a polling place during elections.  It was formerly used for Municipal nomination meetings, but that is done differ-ently now.  The Club itself holds Euchre games every Monday evening the year round, and Bingo on Wednesday evening during July and August, also Pot Luck suppers, and perhaps three dances a year.
     Many improvements have been made in the building over the years - installation of a modern plumbing system and washrooms -modernized kitchen with electric stove and refrigerator - nice dishes, cutlery, and lots of cupboard space. The new paneling and lighting upstairs was completed about four years ago, also a new roof, much of the work having been done by Bill Lindsay, whom most of us remember as a very fine Club Member.
     A few years ago it became obvious that we needed new tables and chairs. The first lot of interlocking tables and stacking chairs were bought, and the number has been added to at intervals. The crystal ball which is suspended from the ceiling was made and donated by Mr. Albert Hart ("Pop") to most of us.
     A year or so ago, in the middle of winter, the old brick chimney finally gave way and fell to the ground, breaking some of the steps of the fire escape in its fall. Don Barker installed a new galvanized chimney, and made the necessary changes at the furnace level. The Club Members repaired the fire escape.
     Some extensive work on the outside of the building has been done this year, chiefly on the back wall. This work has also been done by Club Members.
     The men and women who founded the Club in the early years were descendants of those courageous settlers who braved the wilderness in the 1800's, and overcame obstacles. Many of the founders of the Club, as well as those who worked on the building, are gone now. Many of the names we do not have, but we honor them all when we use the Hall and its facilities. It is a legacy given to us to carry on and keep it a place to be enjoyed by the whole community, as was originally intended by those wonderful people who brought it into being so many years ago. The present Executive and members are trying very hard to do just that, as did those before them, and the convenience and nice appearance of the Club House now is certainly a credit to their efforts.

Goodbye Club 35 August 25, 2015 Minden Times

To the Editor:
The announcement of the closing of Club 35 at Halls Lake has brought a flood of memories for me, a long time cottager and former resident of the hamlet north of Carnarvon. It has been a gathering place for generations, and well cared for by faithful volunteers. My earliest memories are of standing in line, with many others, for the annual summer bazaar held by members and friends of St. Stephen’s (Boshkung) Anglican Church. The home baking (Mrs. Russell’s pies), freshly picked raspberries (from the Gartshore/Moles berry patch now Sandy Lane Resort), beautiful and useful handicrafts and hand-stitched quilts, were rapidly purchased. If you were fortunate there would be a place for you at a tea table in the basement. Such a gathering! Other summer events included Monday and Wednesday evenings with bingo and euchre games for all ages.
     Throughout the year there were bridal showers, often with the bride-to-be sitting in an elegant wicker rocking chair, all-candidates meetings, family reunions and parties. Teen dances were held and I remember trying to perfect dance moves as someone spun our 45s and albums (the Beatles, Dave Clarke Five, Petula Clarke, Sonny and Cher…..) on a borrowed turntable. Other times, square dancers enjoyed live music with callers taking turns and keeping the dancers moving. The New Year’s Eve celebrations were a community highlight and I know my parents, Doreen and Leonard Stinson, often created wonderful food (homemade buns, multi-layered Jell-O salads, ham trimmed with pineapple and festive cherries) for the post-midnight feasts.
     Club 35 was also used by the students of SS #3 Stanhope for some of their ambitious concerts with school children memorizing lines of poetry and plays, music selections and dance routines. All, from the one room school on Buckslide Road, were expected to participate and for weeks in advance we also worked on decorations and props. I’m sure our teachers, including Mrs. Currie and Mrs. Warder, were not impressed by how much lesson time was taken up by our creative endeavours. How thrilled we were when the community, as well as our parents, attended and clapped their approval for our hard work.
     It has been many years since I entered Club 35 but during our seasonal vacations I have always noted the external upkeep and read with interest of the activities held there. Volunteers, always key, have continued to care for the facility and organized events. Truly it is sad to know it has run its course. Its future has been decided.
     Thanks to all who have contributed to its presence within the Halls Lake community, the councils and staff of the Township of Stanhope and Algonquin Highlands. Club 35: thanks for the great memories!

Bonnie (Stinson) Holliday,     Halls Lake and Port Elgin