The earthquake of last week calls to mind the terrible one which occurred in 1663. Before that date, we learn this country was a large fertile district, equal to any of the first-class townships at the front and inhabited by a superior class of natives. Since then the whole face of the country was changed. Mountains, lakes, rivers and creeks were formed and still bear traces of violent volcanic action.
Orillia Packet November 23, 1877
Prophecy of bad winter and mention of great drought of the year past.
Gravenhurst Banner October 15, 1886
It is four weeks today since we had sufficient rain to lay the dust. This is the driest spring in this neighborhood for the past twenty-three years. Yesterday about six p.m. we could hear the peels of thunder, and were in hope that the rain was coming to stop the fires but we were disappointed as we had but a slight shower. It cleared off until noon today then thunder was heard in the west and at one o’clock we were blessed with a good steady rain…
Orillia Packet May 27, 1887
District News: The ice left the Black River on the 3rd instant, the earliest in thirty years.
Orillia Packet April 9, 1897
The last big fire in the area was in 1913. Mrs. Rebman was a child and her family lived where the South Meadow Antiques business is located. The fire started in the area of Lewisham and swept a path to Barkway taking barns and destroying homes. By the time the fire reached the Barkway area, it had burned deep into the grass and was finally put out by rainfall. In those days everyone dropped their work to help fight the fire, and she remembers taking a basket of sandwiches to the men fighting the fire down by the river. Jim Lowes family were afraid they’d lose their possessions and they had packed up their belongings and taken them away from the fire’s path. But by the time they got everything moved by wagon, the rain had remedied the situation.
By Mrs. Florence Rebman Ryde Centennial Preparations – Thursday, July 26, 1979 Gravenhurst News
Housey Rapids column: We had quite a severe frost here Sunday night. There is much rot reported among potatoes here… Gravenhurst Banner September 28, 1922
Doe Lake Road: We were glad to see Mr.Carl Laycox back on the road with the team and in a few days when the floods have subsided maybe we will be able to travel in comfort again.
Gravenhurst Banner April 10, 1947
Barkway News: Our community was stricken with a gale blowing about 50 miles an hour on Saturday afternoon, at times the sand was blowing so that one couldn’t see the outdoor buildings. Trees were blown down and strips of roofing were taken off, barn doors taken off, in several cases the roof almost lifted. One frame barn that wasn’t in use at the time was blown down. In the midst of it all fires broke out. Men were called out to fight a fire behind Charlie Speicher’s. They kept it from crossing the road. When it reached the swamp it died down. The people of Housey’s Rapids were called to one in around Jack Ketching’s, some timber was damaged. Fred Nicols wood was saved by firefighters. Let us all be more careful with fire.
Gravenhurst Banner May 11, 1950
Hurricane Hazel: The worst disaster here was the roof taken off the log barn of Mr. Wm. Duke (on the former Seehaver farm on Barkway Lake). Fortunately the cattle escaped injury. The roads were flooded in places, culverts washed out, trees down, the hydro off for a night and day.
Gravenhurst Banner October 21, 1954