Gillies Township Website
Halfway Hotel Burned:
Was Hymers Landmark An Inn On The Old Coach Road in
Silver Mountain Mining
HYMERS, June 2 -- One of the oldest landmarks of this district was destroyed by fire on Wednesday morning when the home of the Cosy brothers was burned to the ground. The fire originated from the chimney and in less than half an hour the building was entirely consumed. As soon as the fire was noticed, the Parker boys hurried over and, with their help, the Cosy brothers managed to save all the furniture., but were unable to make any headway in the fight against the fire which was destroying the house. Sparks from the blazing building several times set fire to the barn, but by hard fighting the incipient fires were put out. Had the wind been blowing the other way nothing could have saved the barn, but it happened to be blowing away from it. The house was insured for $700.
Mining Men Built It
This house was built some forty years ago, and then was known as the "Halfway Hotel" and was erected by Oliver Daunais, who was then one of the best mining men in the vicinity of Silver Mountain. The hotel was run by Johnny Beaudro, and was afterwords rented to James MacKenzie of Oliver Township, and later to G.E.Hymers. Following this occupany, it was converted into a residence and has been occupied by the following: W. Sitch, C. Parker, N.C. Hahn, Mike Kolbeck and finally the Cosy brothers. The Halfway Hotel was in the early mining days of the district, the main stopping place for the three coaches which carried the mail and passengers, among whom were many miners and mining magnates, between Murillo and Silver Mountain. A small cottage will probably be built to replace the old structure.
Some of the First Settlers were:
George Edward Hymers was born August 18, 1863 , Darlington Twsp, Durham Co., Ont. Son of Jonathan & Edith Hymers. He was the first settler to buy land in the township in August of 1889. Hymers was named after him.
Moses Couch was born 11 August 1850 & married 29 July 1869 Emma Louise Woods. He then came to this area in 1898. He operated a store and a Post office and celebrated his Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 1929. Moses Couch died 18 April 1931 & is buried in the Hymers Cemetery. A son, Wellington Couch established a sawmill in 1918 which burned in early 1937, the mill was rebuilt in the spring.
Arthur Sitch, one of the original pioneers of Hymers, he was born at Fryreing, Essex Co., England in 1879 & came to Canada in 1897 & 2 years later came to Hymers. He learned the trade of gardener from his father & he established the Plum Grove Nursery in Hymers. He married Miss Clara Bowe 17 Jan 1903
Isaac Turk came from Apsley, Anstruther Twsp Peterborough Co., Ont 6 May 1900. Isaac & Jacob Turk were the sons of Rice & Anna Turk. Rice died 21 May 1894 Chandos Twsp, Peterborough Co., Ont. Anna moved to Gillies with her sons & passed away 14 March 1907. She is buried in Pinegrove Cemetery with her son Isaac who passed away in October 1918.
Jacob Turk & Sarah Jane Joice set up their homestead in Gillies Twsp and then moved to Saskatchewn in 1916. Mrs. Sarah Jane Turk died about 1921
McGillivary, Peter Cameron born in Quebec, settled in Gillies about 1900. Peter died May 27, 1932
Charles Prouty was born in Mystic, Que., & married 1888 Emma Woods who was from Apsley, Anstruther Twsp Peterborough Co., Ont. Charles Prouty came to Gillies in the summer of 1900, built his homestead and then returned back to Peterborough Co to return the following spring with his family. Helen Prouty was the first child born in South Gillies. Charles Prouty was also the first Reeve of the township.
Frederick Hawkes married 20 April 1898 in Chandos Twsp, Peterborough Co., Ont Rebecca. Settled in Gillies Twsp in 1900 and in 1905 established the first sawmill which burned in 1917. He donated the land for the First Community Hall. .Moved to Port Arthur in 1933
Manford Woodbeck married 29 October 1897 Coe Hill, Wollaston Twsp, Hastings Co., Ont. Emma Louise Couch, the daughter of another pioneer Moses Couch. They came to Hymers in 1900 and took up farming. In 1917, the Woodbeck's moved to Fort William
William Henry Jordan born in Michigan 1864 and came to Hymers in 1899 where he set up his homestead. He was instrumental in the early years of the community. He moved to Florida in 1934 & died there in 1953.
Daniel McCall born in Parry sound April 1881, came from the Muskoka District in 1899. Settled in Hymers and farmed there with his parents. He married Ida Saunders 5 September 1906 in Murillo
Albert Pike -born, educated & married in Stratford, Ont, John Albert Pike came to Hymers in 1900 where he farmed before moving to Manitoba in 1920. He died 3 Jan 1970 aged 92 & is buried in Hymers Cemetery.
James Thatcher Mr. Thatcher was one of the pioneer farmers of Hymers district, settling about 1900
Thomas Liddicoat was born England 14 Oct 1869 and settled first in Bruce Co., Ont. He married 2 Nov 1890 Kincardine, Bruce Co., Ont Rachel Johnson. They came to this district in 1903 & Set up their homestead. Rachel Johnson was a sister to Martha, wife of William Wamsley. Continued....
Saunders Family From the Ottawa area, came to this district in 1903 and then in 1905 moved to Scoble Twsp. Ida Saunders married another pioneer Daniel McCall of Hymers
W. George Williams was born in Gooderham Twsp, Nipissing District, Ont and came to Hymers in 1903
George Wamsley born Ripley, Huron Co., Ont 16 Sept 1885. married 3 April 1889 Martha Elizabeth Johnson, a sister to Rachel Johnson who married Thomas Liddicoat. George and his family came to this area in 1904 & in 1906 took up a homestead in Pearson Twsp.
William Mitchell Came from New Britian, Ct, & arrived in Port Arthur 23 April 1905. They arrived in South Gillies 8 June 1905 Continued....
Mark Withenshaw came directly from England in 1906, first settling in South Gillies & then Hymers where he operated the Post Office until 1927 when he moved to Fort William
Joseph H. Holmes- born in Kincardine, Bruce Co., Ont, in 1866, he came to this area about 1906. settling first at hymers and then purchased a homestead in on the 2nd Con in Gillies. Married Miss Wealthy Kilbreath in 1890. Celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 1950. Joe Holmes died 19 June 1953. Continued...
Arthur Hayward was born in Brantford, Ont 1880 & married Fort William 1908 Jeanette Couch, daughter of Moses Couch who was born at Apsley, Anstruther Township, Peterborough County. They came to this district in September 1907
James Dean was born in Springfield, Mass., 1903 and moved to Hymers area in 1908 with his parents James Sr. & Mary Ann Dean. He was married to Marjorie Cardiff in 1933. He removed to the city in 1949 & died 16 March 1975. He is buried in Hymers Cemetery.
Tissari Family came from Finland about 1909.
Clifton Parker came from Arba, Indiana with his family in 1910. In 1941 he moved to Wallaceburgh, Chatham Twsp, Kent Co., where he died.
Nichlas Michael Kochany & Maria Kockany lived in the Gillies area from 1912-1942. They lived on Con 3 or Kochany's Road as it was also known. Today the road has been renamed the Neva Road.
John William Lee was born in Leicestetshire, England and married 6 April 1900 Edith Johnson also from England. They moved to Gillies in 1913 where they farmed for 39 years.
Samuel North 1914
Warner Forbes married in Sellers in 1914 to Jemima Jones daughter of Mr & Mrs Jacob Jones from Bridgeburg, Ont. They moved to South Gillies where they have resided since.
Thomas Kieri born 23 December 1887 in Kukkolan Kyla, Finland & married Hilma Maki born 20 Feb 1883. They came to Port Arthur in September of 1913 & moved to Gillies about 1918.
Henry Zweep & Patricia Zweep came from Holland and moved to the Gillies area in 1928
Nathan Hahn-was one of the previous owners of the Half-way house near Hymers, it destroyed by fire in June of 1922. Mr. Hahn moved to Michigan
A.J. Kamstra born in Holland, he came to the area about 1925, he had one of the best holstein herds in the district
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