My brother George and I attended a pre-Christmas session at the Presbyterian Church (although we were regular attendees at the United Church). Christmas was a HUGE celebration for us and the knowledge that we would receive a Christmas "package" if we participated in the Christmas Celebration at the Presbyterian Church was irresistible. Yes, we were well rewarded when each child in attendance received a bag of Christmas goodies. That would have been in 1955 or 1956.
The Massey Continuation School yard was an ideal spot for kids to play back in the 1950's. The school ball diamond, nothing more than the three bases and a home plate, was right beside and much too close to the Presbyterian Church. Usually, the shutters were closed to protect the side windows of the church.
How amazed we were watching the Burns' boys (Richard, Fred and Larry) and the Houles (Fred and Don) all older than the Cassie boys... batting the ball well into the pine trees on the hill behind. Right out of the park!
I remember playing pick-up baseball there one Saturday when George Cuthbertson and Bobby Hobbs dropped by and joined in. How sad that they were killed at a railway crossing a few years later.
All under the watch of Massey Presbyterian Church.
Submitted by Ellen Mooney
Robert John and Ella Mooney were not the first in the family to move to and settle in the Massey area. RJ’s sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Frank McIntyre came first. and they convinced RJ and Ella that Temperance Valley was the place to farm.
In March 1899, Robert John and Ella and their two year old son Manson, came from Guyon, Pontiac County in Quebec. They packed up their belongings and livestock and loaded it all on a boxcar in Arnprior, Ontario and headed for their new home in Massey. RJ rode in the caboose so he could tend to the livestock.
Shortly after settling in, Dora May was born on May 7th and they went on to have ten children in total: Manson, Dora (McLaren), Keith, Arnold, Grace (Walford), Marjorie (Clarke), Bernice (Thornton), Allen, Wallace and Edith (Wolgemuth).
At first they rented a small log cabin but, by summer, a house had been built and about three acres cleared and seeded with grain and potato’s. By years end, a barn had been built for the livestock.
Robert John had a comprehensive interest in the community, church, school and municipal government and served as reeve of the municipality for many years, as secretary of the local school board and as an elder of the Massey United Church.
My grandparents were true pioneers. They hacked a hole in the bush to build a home and farm.
A farm that, 3 generations later is still in existence today.
Jonella Farms, a successful dairy operation is a proud tribute to what my grandparents started 117 years ago.
This summer (2016), Mooney’s will have a reunion to celebrate and remember our family heritage.
This ongoing blog is a collection of articles and photos written by volunteers, staff and you, about the history of our region!