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New Ontario

New Ontario

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Excerpt from New Ontario: The Canadian Press Association's Excursion to Temiskaming

One evening in the summer of 1903, two men were smoking and chatting in the Rossin House. One was telling of a trip he had just taken to the great hinterland of Ontario. The narrator was enthusiastic. He described a beautiful lake, seventy-five miles long with immense wooded shores, now rising 500 feet sheer from the water, now receding gradually and always inspiring, grand, majestic. He told of navigable streams winding between picturesque banks; of twentieth century highways through dismal but interesting forests; thriving villages, virile in their infancy; of a hard-working population turning a land of promise into a land of realization. He dilated upon an oxonized, lung expanding, exhilarating air and the velvety breeze from the south - Hiawatha's Shanondasee.

"Grand!" exclaimed the listener, "that's just the trip for the Press Association to take. There's a meeting of the Executive, and I will tell them about it."

It was President Pettypiece who spoke, and the one who had described Temiskaming was Mr. A. W. Campbell. Such was the conception of the excursion of 1903.

As the "Admiral" of the party would express it, we "lifted our anchor" at the Union Station, Toronto, at 1.45 on Monday, the 21st day of September, and set sail for North Bay aboard the Pullman car, "Sacramento." There were thirty-four of us, not so many as had been expected, because at the last minute it was found that busy people who didn't want to go to a feast could find excuses similar to those in vogue 2,000 years ago. One had a wife who had taken sick, and therefore he couldn't go. Another had bought some land and was having a law suit over it, and therefore he couldn't go. However, the spirits of the thirty-four, who presumably had neither wives nor farms to bother them, were not dampened in the slightest, and they lost no time in developing a holiday camaraderie.

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