The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

November 3, 2010

Two drowned while fishing

Springhill Record Sept. 12, 1936:  Boat Capsized; Two Drowned

     An overturned boat told its own grim story Sunday morning as search was started for Charles Guthro and Lester Smith, who had gone to Isaac’s Lake on Saturday morning on their last fishing trip of the season.  The bodies of both men were recovered Monday by willing workers who dragged the lake.  Lester Smith was found only a few feet from the island which it is thought he made a desperate attempt to reach before the weight of his wet clothes dragged him to the bottom.  Those who found his body stated that had he been able to make a few more strokes he would have been able to reach bottom and walk ashore.  The body of Charlie Guthro was said to have been found about 150 feet off the island.

     There were no eyewitnesses to this tragedy which has saddened the community and rendered two homes fatherless. Both men were married: Lester Smith had two children, while Charles Guthro was the father of six.

On Fishing Trip

Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Charles Guthro, Lester Smith, Hugh Guthro and “Hod” Canning left town in the latter’s car for Isaac’s Lake where they planned on doing a couple of days fishing before the season closed.  It was raining on Saturday and on arrival at the lake the boys made camp.  About 2 p.m. Hugh Guthro and Canning felt it was too wet and cold to fish and decided to motor to Truro for the day to visit Mr. Guthro’s cousin Art Melanson, who had been ill.  They returned to the lake at 9:30 Saturday evening.  The other members of their party were absent from camp.  The food supplies were all there, and the only things missing were the boat, the fishing rods, and worms, and an axe.  Thinking the men had gone to spend the night at another camp nearby, no alarm was felt until the following morning, when at daybreak Hugh Guthro had discovered the boat overturned on the lake near the island.  Alarmed, the men solicited the assistance of Joseph Whalen who had been fishing in the vicinity, and Mr. Whalen came to town for assistance, reporting to the local police.  Immediately a car containing Harvey Finlay, Dan Davis and Clarence Thompson left for the lake.  Others followed quickly.  Boats were obtained from Sutherland’s Lake and Westchester; grappling irons were brought from town and from Truro and willing workers sat about dragging the lake.  It was not until Monday morning about 10:45 that their efforts were rewarded.  The body of Lester Smith was recovered first only a few feet from the island and a few hours later that of Charles Guthro was found much farther out.  Both bodies were immediately brought to Brown’s undertaking parlor.

Boat Light an Small

The boat used by the men for fishing was built of light boards and was very small.  While flat-bottomed those who have used the boat say it requires careful handling and would be easy to upset.  The boats were destroyed.

The New Company Office

Friday will be a red letter day in the lives of the boys who spend their working days in the Company’s office.  On that day they will move from the old office near the station into their new premises on McDougall St.  Already some of the equipment has found its way into the new structure but the complete move is expected to be made tomorrow, the engineering department has been located in their new offices for several days.  Next week we hope to provide our readers with a description of the interior of the new building.

January 25, 1935:  Fire caused damage estimated at $30,000 when the Strand Theatre at Springhill, was gutted at an early hour yesterday morning.  Insurance on the building lapsed January 14.  Firemen covered with ice fought the blaze in below zero weather. 

January 1937: The first woman to run for a seat in the town council of Springhill was Mrs. Effie Selkirk, wife of Robert Selkirk.  She was the only woman contesting a seat in Nova Scotia.  The seat was won by William “Squirm” Noiles.

Friday 13, 1936

     Friday 13th was an exciting day at All Saints Hospital, when a baby girl, Jean Evelyn, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Megeney.  This was the 13th baby born during the month of March and when the baby was added to those already in the nursery it was found to be the 13th in the nursery.  What excitement!  That’s one to remember for Friday 13th.