History of Barrow Bay

The first business in Eastnor was a sawmill built in 1874 by Patrick -Judge, who was also the owner and operator. He acquired the rights to a large tract of land surrounding the "Little Lake" and the creek which bears his name, "Judge's Creek." The second mill was built on the "bar," the ridge of beach stones which separates the Little Lake from Georgian Bay. This was an excellent location as the small lake provided a holding area for the logs which were floated down the creek, while Georgian Bay provided the deep water for the schooners which carried lumber and ties to Detroit and other distant ports. The business was officially known as the "Barrow Bay Lumber Company." The manager and bookkeeper was a little Frenchman known as "Judge" De Jean. A hotel was erected near the creek and also a large general store, each bearing the Company name. Many houses were needed for the timber and mill workers and a row of houses, with board sidewalks, extended from the hotel up to Mclntyre's Hill. A blacksmith shop was later located north of the creek on property now owned by Harvey McKague. A large boarding house was among the housing units located on the bar for mill workers. The hotel was destroyed by fire in the early 1900's, after the timber boom. The general store still stands but the boarding-house was dismantled and re-built as a farm home, and for many years was occupied by the John Thompson family south of Hope Bay. The sawmill was burned as were many of the houses.

Grist mill at Barrow Bay in late 1800's - note covered flume and water wheel - log sluice took logs into Little Lake. The" Judge" also built a grist mill above the falls in 1877, with one run of stones intended as a flour mill. A flume carried water to run the water-wheel. This mill served local farmers for many years as a "chopping" mill, until drainage of the Eastnor swamp and dredging of the creek channel resulted in a dwindling water flow. Judge De Jean had a partner, Mr. Inkstetter, for this second mill. Problems in the effort to drain the Eastnor flats were many, and they continued over the years of early settlement. One of the obstructions was the dam on Judge's Creek placed there by the Barrow Bay Lumber Co. Their successors Hunter, Crawford and Seaman, refused to allow its removal until they were paid $2000 by the Eastnor Council in 1901. In the 1930's, Mr. Clark Sensabaugh, then owner of the mill, constructed a dam below the falls. He installed an electrical system and supplied the village of Lion's Head with its first electric lights. To conserve energy, power was discontinued at 12 midnight. Mr. Sensabaugh was drowned while out in a small boat on Little Lake. Mr. Sterling Haskins, with his wife and family, came to Barrow Bay about 1937 and took over the operation of the lighting plant and chopping mill. They moved to Lion's Head three years later. The dam was washed out in the spring flood in 1968. The "Barrow Bay Store" developed as a privately owned business and Post Office, serving and supplying the Hope Ness Community to the south as well as the farming area surrounding the village. In the early days and through the early 1900's, all supplies came in by boat. Small steamers called once or twice a week, took orders for the next delivery, made deliveries of groceries, hardware, furniture and stoves, and also carried passengers. Peninsula roads were difficult to establish in many areas due to swamps; while in other places, trails had to be found in and around the rocks. Travel by land was an arduous trip. Store keepers laid in extra supplies on the last trips of the steamers late in the year. They had to lay by enough to last through the winter months. The fact that many of these supplies were shipped in barrels for easy handling no doubt contributed to the disasters which befell several of the small steamers. Coupled with late sailings and storms, shifting cargo could lead to catastrophe for any ship. Such was the tragic fate of the steamer Jones sunk off Cape Croker on November 22nd, 1906. (A Barrow Bay delivery to William Tyson, owner of the store, would have been its next port of call.) Goods arriving by vessel were put ashore at the wharf near the "bar," and loaded on a wagon by the crew. Freight rate was paid, on delivery, by the clerk from the store.

At that date it was Will Tucker who gave the ship's purser a list for the next trip, duly noted in his note-book. On November 5th, the lones brought these supplies to Barrow Bay from Owen Sound for $10.22 - I barrel of syrup I box raisins I box yeast 2 barrels of sugar I barrel of coal oil I pail pickles I carton of stove-pipes 3 grind stones 3 cartons glass 3 kegs of nails 2 cobbler sets I bundle of cross-cut saws 3 boxes of hardware I cook stove 1 churn and scales Footnote - to list: The pickles were large cucumbers in brine. Any furniture was assembled after arrival. Cash Book pages from Wm. Tyson's store, March 9, 1905. Almost a century after its construction, the Barrow Bay Store building is vacant, having changed owners several times through the years. Dwindling population the advent of larger chain stores, and withdrawal Post Office services, have caused the closing of many country stores of that era. The private owners, after the Barrow Bay Lumber Co., were also the operators and they lived in the upper apartments. Another store of that period was owned and operated by Peter Robertson and its location was not far from Barrow Bay General Store. One building was destroy by fire in the early 1890's, but must have been rebuilt. Wooden buildings, shingled roofs, and close proximity. to adjacent houses, often resulted in fire losses of possessions. No form of insurance was carried. A Butter and Cheese Factory owned and operated by Billy Stone was located to the south of Barrow Bay village. It was on the southern fringe, then called Winch's Swamp, and was on the site of a flowing spring, a necessity in a butter and cheese making operation. (This fresh water spring is one of several around the village of Barrow Bay which provided the water supply for several residents.) This business was a relatively brief one ... (dates are unrecorded but it was about, 1905-06-07).

THE BARROW BAY STORE, 1890-1979 The Barrow Bay Store is one of the few frame buildings on the Bruce Peninsula which has stood for nearly fifty years and is the same today as the day it was completed, except for looking a little older. It was built about 1890 by the Barrow Bay Lumber Company. In 1898 a company under the name of Seaman, Hunter & Crawford took over the store and ran it until 1901. when Capt. Wm. Tyson bought it and carried on a thriving business until 1907, when he sold out to Mr. ManIey. Jack Lane managed the business until 1909 . Wm. T. Hewton and Roy Greig bought the business and remained partners until 1915. Roy Greig took over the business and carried on until 1919, then sold out to Wm. Crozier who held it until 1923. when Wm. T. Hewton again came into possession. In the spring of 1924. Herb Hewton, a Great War veteran who enlisted with the 160th Bruce Battalion and gave three years of his life for his king and country. took over the business. In 1935 he took his youngest brother Hector into the business as a partner and the firm was then known as Hewton Bros. You may have seen their truck on the highways and in the byways, always on the alert for business. They were ever ready and willing to go out of their way to oblige a customer, and by always making it their first duty to serve the public, they worked up a large and profitable trade. Barrow Bay Lumber Co. office and store and the Post Office before 1900 - board walk served the row of workers' houses - manager "Judge" de Jean with horse aHector Hewton went into Military Service in 1942. His wife Ethel, assisted by her father Charlie Caudle, carried on the store, feed and trucking business until 1944, when it was taken over by Elgin and Bernice Lemeke, Two years later the Lemcke's bought a farm. Then Verd and Mary (Bray) Tucker became the owners and carried on the business of store, Post Office, cream pick-up and livestock trucking until Mary's death in December, 1964. A.G. and Mary lane Eichenberger of London (and Barrow Bay) were the last storekeepers of "General Ike's." Withdrawal of the Post Office service, competition by larger chain stores and reduced farm population spelled "finis" to many country stores, including the one at Barrow Bay. Nonetheless, it would be interesting to record the number of marriages which resulted from "boy meets girl" in those old store days. When a pretty girl was the new clerk, the young men found many reasons to call "at the store" or to hurry over to get the mail. But most of all, the store was the social centre for the community on a Saturday night. The long winter days were ideal for a game of checkers back beside the old box-stove "down at the store." The Post Office took up only a small corner. Two long counters extended the length of the store ... these also gave service as seating space, especially when the young folk gathered "at the store." If the windows were "EYES," What secrets they know, We can only surmise!

BARROW BAY BUSINESS NOTES 1899 - The Barrow Bay Lumber Co. produced 500 railway ties per day at the sawmill on the Bar. 1905 - Seaman Hunter and Crawford, now owners of the Lumber Co., removed the flour milling machinery from the grist and feed mill and had it taken to a mill in Oxenden. The only reminder of the flour business was the old stone mill wheel which lay beside the mill for many years. 1915 - Roy Greig and his brother George installed a chopper in the mill for the use of local farmers who fed "chop" to pigs and cattle. With different operators, and a change from water power to motors, the chopping mill was in use until Sterling Haskins, the last "chopper," moved to Lion's Head in 1940 to open a similar business. CHECK THESE PRICES - NOV., 1904 Flour $3.00 (cwt), butter 16~/lb, lard 12~, oranges 1 doz 25~, a small turkey 14~/lb = 98~, pork 7~ (64lb X 7 = $4.48), a lamb $3.00, a lead pencil 2~, a pair of ladies' hose 25~, lemons 25~/doz, 1 broom 25~, pair of men's pants $1.75, pair of white blankets $3.75,5 pairs mitts @ 4O~ = $2.00, a lady's vest 25~, 18 lbs of beef were bought $1.26 (7~/lb), a pair of shoes $1.35, a pair of rubbers 50~, 1Vz doz eggs (a rarity) 37~, cough cure 25~, thread 5~, potatoes 1~/lb. . 49nd gig. CHRISTMAS GIFTS - DEC. 24, 1904 1 necktie .25 a doll .15 1 cup & saucer .25 2 vases .20 2 dogs .30 1 bank .05 1 mug .15 Jackknife .15 4 handkerchiefs .20 1 yd of (hair) ribbon .15 candy .15 child's sleigh .65 2 plates .25 Many children around the store area got a "dog" at Christmas in 1904 - (likely the small china ones, and soon broken). These were listed in the counter books, where all sales were noted, at .15 each.

Barrow Bay Hotel built opposite the Lumber Co. - burned before 1910.