Tidbits of McKellar
 
Tidbits of McKellar
(Photo & Story Contributed by Ted Dinniwell)

These are a few tidbits of McKellar. My wifes grandfather William Tait and his wife Lydia moved to McKellar to the farmhouse on Spring Hill Road. The barn for the farm is on on Hwy 124 to your right as you enter the village. When we built our cottage in 1966, there were only 5 cottages on Taits Island. Arnold and Iva Taits cottage was next to ours. Towards the causeway was the cottage owned by Ralph Tait. It was originally Wm Taits cabin.
 

This is the road (causeway) leading to Tait's Island (1938)
Contributed by Ted Dinniwell

At the causeway were the cottages of Soddens and Walter Scott. Walters brother Albert later moved to the island on Park Drive. Both Walter and Albert were working in the area in their much younger years. They worked at a variety of jobs including the logging business. Much later was a blacksmith working in Markdale. To the East further along were the two Angst cottages. They ran the general store in McKellar. The one cottage was down by Laceys Narrow or Elliotts Narrows as Arnold and Iva Tait called it.

There were logs in the water by the mill in the village of McKellar in the very early 1900s. In the late 60s the old mill building was still standing there. The mill had Hurdville outlasted it by a few years.

In the late 60s and 70s the Post Office was at Moffats General Store where you pick up your mail without having to have a postal box. Somehow it seems we have moved backwards since then.

The old school house became the Municipal Hall. The Yard building is there now.

Taits Island was not an island when William Tait purchased it for back taxes owing in the mid 1920s . He leased out the timber rights. After that lease had expired, Arnold Tait would sometimes fell trees in the wintertime. Then he would draw logs across the lake to the farm.

The lake was dammed at Hurdville. The original causeway had culverts.  My father in law caught perch at the culverts that were a foot long. The two best fishing spots that he showed me have produced nothing for years. At one time there no Pike or rock bass in the lake.

At one time there was a barn on the Island and a little cabin at the top of the hill.
Before the island was developed there was no road when you got to the top of the hill. One drove across the field. About a of the island was pastureland. It was rented out for palamino horses on the pasture. Across the split rail fence cattle grazed.  The sand beach was at the end of Genes Court.

Before the lake was really developed Loons would swim right by our canoe or punt.. They would seem to be oblivious to us. Swallows and nighthawks were very plentiful.  On the island itself were many majestic elm trees.