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ctranter

Sad day in Magnetawan

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It's a small town of 300 people, but ask any of the thousands of people who proudly wear "Downtown Magnetawan" t-shirts and see just how many people love this town. My girlfriend and some friends ate lunch at the Inn and Restaurant the afternoon before it was torched to the ground. Here's an article:

 

http://www.cottagecountrynow.ca/news/article/1050558--fire-destroys-magnetawan-inn

 

I spoke to many people as they watched the fire department battle flames the day after, and I was shocked to hear the "word of mouth" explanation for the fire. Apparently, a guy was kicked out of the bar, which is located right across the street from the general store. As he left in a fit of rage he told the people at the bar, "I'm going to burn this whole town down"... obviously nobody took him seriously because shortly after a huge fire tore through the general store and restaurant, burning each to the ground. Many people have confirmed this story with me, and I know an arrest has been made, but obviously since nothing is offical we dont know for sure. I can't in my right mind fathom how terrible of a person you have to be to destroy such a sentimental and history piece of history. We can just all thank our religious idols that nobody was hurt or killed in the fire, but 3 families are now homeless and 30 people are without jobs in the busiest time of the year.

 

I know people are often talking about Ahmic Lake and the Mag River, so I wouldn't be surprised if many of you know of these buildings. I took some pics of the aftermath the day after the fire and I will post them tomorrow.

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I was raised in Magnetawan, when 'Junes Restaurant' and Schneider's General Store made up the main hub of the village. There was a variety store (Jim Dunk's) in the late '50's & early '60's sandwiched between them, and a second 'general store' (Shier's) across the road. (It too burned down back in the 50's, never to be rebuilt.) About 15 years ago the marina just across the river also burned. Something like this could not have come at a worse time, right at the peak of 'tourist season!' Without these 2 places, the town will NEVER be the same . . . . to me, it's like losing an old friend . . . . which was a big part of my life. It's been about a year since the last time I visited Magnetawan, I certainly hope they rebuild, the village will slowly die with the marina, general store & the 'Magnetawan Inn' all gone. I thank you for posting about that . . . . and will watch for further news about it.

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Lots of memories there for me too. I heard about it yesterday...very sad to hear this and see the pics. I still called the restaurant June's...always have. The marina shocked me when I saw it...this doesn't compare. I'm glad no one was hurt, and I hope they rebuild.

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Here are a few pics I took the day after:

 

img8547ul.jpg

 

img8545y.jpg

 

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img8514n.jpg

 

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This car's rims melted down completely

 

img8518h.jpg

Edited by ctranter

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Without your photos, I just, in my worst nightmares, wouldn't have been able to imagine the devistation. Many happy hours were spent 'hangin' out, at June's, back in the '60's . . . . my best memories were when June first got the chip frier . . . . she would 'comandeer' a bunch of us teenagers hangin' around out front, and into the back kitchen we went, were issued a 'tater peeler,' and put to work, doing something useful, and not gettin' into mischief. And June didn't ask, she TOLD you to get yer lazy butts in there . . . and she didn't take no for an answer, she was 'den mother' with a heart of gold & the patience of a saint, to at least 2 generations of 'those wild redneck Mag teens! They coulda made a sitcom outta the situation . . . . there were certainly enough characters!

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My inlaws moved to sundridge 11 years ago and 7 year old just came back from a week there he recognized the pictures right away as they had lunch there. If the guy from the bar lit it up I hope he gets his ass handed to him.

 

 

 

Ian

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I was raised in Magnetawan, when 'Junes Restaurant' and Schneider's General Store made up the main hub of the village. There was a variety store (Jim Dunk's) in the late '50's & early '60's sandwiched between them, and a second 'general store' (Shier's) across the road. (It too burned down back in the 50's, never to be rebuilt.) About 15 years ago the marina just across the river also burned. Something like this could not have come at a worse time, right at the peak of 'tourist season!' Without these 2 places, the town will NEVER be the same . . . . to me, it's like losing an old friend . . . . which was a big part of my life. It's been about a year since the last time I visited Magnetawan, I certainly hope they rebuild, the village will slowly die with the marina, general store & the 'Magnetawan Inn' all gone. I thank you for posting about that . . . . and will watch for further news about it.

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I live on the west coast and only recently learned of this terrible tragedy. Like you.....I have many happy memories of Magnetawan. The fishermen I most admired were my father, Jack B. and Billy M......they could often be seen trolling the "triangle".....or bass fishing off the rocks near Mills' dock. Bass fishing was often a two step process. First we would go to the white water near the locks at night.....armed with flashlights to catch crayfish....or crawfish as we used to call 'em. Next day....we would anchor at the rocks.What fun!

 

 

On hot days when the fish weren't biting.....my folks would send me into town to buy meat at the general store. I would tie up at the small dock near Vic R.'s house. Of course I would have to check out June's to see who was "in town"....and perhaps drop a few coins into the pinball machine! At the general store, Adam S. could often be found in the refuge of his walk-in cooler. I still remember how good it felt in there.....and how wonderful the sawdust covered floor felt under foot.

 

 

Many happy days were spent swimming with Larry F, Pat R, Marilyn D, Billy S, Peter M, Steve R and Pete D.

 

 

Thanks for the many happy memories, Magnetawan!

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