"Mickey Dyell and his cousin Bill Wilson Jr. in est. 1939. They are sitting above Grove Street (near First Street) two doors east of the present library. Did the white church (Presbyterian) next to the library use to have a bell tower on top? I see some sort of tower just to the right of my dad’s ear. Also, to the left of my dad looks like the back side of the old Dyell house on Imperial St., and maybe the back of what is now the Legion Hall. The black house (on the right) is now white and sits on First and Grove Street." -Donna Larson
"This does look more like Imperial Street South than Grove Street. The church steeple looks like the Zion Lutheran church. The house below would have been Mrs. Jessey Burnside." -Pauline Roy-Lachance
"The building after the post office was the town hall, and the jail. My great grandfather Narcisse Dorion was the police officer during the Depression, and he used to let people passing through Massey sleep at the jail. Crest hardware is still the hardware store (Home Hardware). The abandoned building (torn down in 2015) to the south of the hardware store was the grocery store. The post office is torn down, and the Dragonfly (Restaurant) is where the town hall used to be." -Bonnie Brash
"This is the house on Castle Street that I was raised in. It originally belonged to my great frandparents Wilfred and Elizabeth Houle, and when my mom and dad ( Fan and Tim Houle) were married, they moved in with them. Strange to see the board sidewalk and dirt roads. The house still stands in the same spot but doesn't look like this picture." -Marjorie Houle Powell
You can see what the Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish on Darby Street looked like back in 1908. The convent, long since gone, is seen to the right of the church.
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT?
The settlement of the Massey area was directly connected with it's waterways. The first nations people were the first residents. Artifacts found along the banks of both Sable and Spanish Rivers near Massey and appraised by archeological experts have run the full gamut of archaelogical time. They have been estimated to date as far back as 4000 B.C. and predate the pottery of age on Indian culture, indicating an area much travelled by the First Nation people.
It is only since 1850 when the Spanish River Indian Reserve was established by the Robinson Treaty, South west of the present town, that Ojibways have resided on a pennisula bordering on Lake Huron on the South and Spanish River on the North. Some of the early explorerers evidently passed through the are via the French River and the North shore of Lake Huron. In 1761 Alexander Henry Sr. reported reaching "an island called La Cloche because there is a rock standing on the plain, which being struck rings like a bell". Roderick Mackenzie also visited here in 1789.
As nearly as can be determined, the NorthWest Company established a trading post on the La Cloche River to trade furs with the Natives about 1790. This post was included in the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay , and Northwest companies in 1821. It was considered on a direct route from Montreal to the West.
The post operated a full century from 1790 until 1890 and was used as a headquarters and was the principal and only permanent post in the Lake Huron district.
Riverboats plied the Great Lakes with settlers and freight well before the twentieth Century and it was via Lake Huron the first white settlers arrived in this area to clear the land and build farms along the banks of the Spanish River west of the present town in the area which is now known as River Road. The first white cemetary was built there with some of the early gravestones still standing.
Enter the Lumbermen to the area with early camps in this area and at Spargge, Spanish Mills and little Detroit. Both the Spanish and Sable rivers provided easy water transport of logs and several lumber companies located around the mouth of the Sable. A lumbering tote road was built northward parallel to the Sable River. At least seven different lumber companies had their headquarters in the town and it was a common practice to float the logs down the Sable River and hold a sorting jack on the Spanish in the spring to form separate booms for the various companies according to the stamp marks on the logs.
If I am reading the photo right, the photgrapher was on "The Rock" facing North. You can see the Catholic Church in the top left which would mean that the street that you're looking at in the foreground is Grove Street and the open space between the two-floored building on the left and the white building on the right is where the library sits today. The next street north would be Highway 17 and I believe the flat-faced building is where Hub 17 is right now. There certainly were a lot more trees between the rock and the highway!
Members of the group identified some of the features. Please note that none of these identifications have been verified but we would love to know what you think!
This ongoing blog is a collection of articles and photos written by volunteers, staff and you, about the history of our region!