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In 1897, if building permits were issued, the first would have gone to Mr. Joseph Edwards Sr. who had Bob Peters erect his house.


This was a time when people bartered for haircuts, blacksmithing and other skills or in true pioneering spirit, did it themselves. You might say that they were the first "Do it yourselfers". Many of the men, for instance, could fix anything iron from horseshoes to sleighs. In our lifestyles of fast-foods, quick-fixes and high-speed technology it may be hard for some to imagine a man building a super hot fire then waiting for the iron to heat to a glowing red before he hammered it into the desired shape on an anvil. But that's how it was done!


July 26, 1874 April 29, 1880 1911 - 1912


April 1912




Alexander Graham Bell invented the electric-speaking telephone at Brantford, Ontario.


The Bell Telephone Company of Canada was incorporated by federal charter.


The Bell Company constructed a long distance line of copper wire from North Bay to Sault Ste. Marie via Sturgeon Falls, Coniston, Nairn Centre, Espanola, Blind River and Thessalon.


Nairn Centre was first listed in the directory for Central Ontario as an office connected to the long distance lines of The Bell Telephone


10 April 1917


January 1927 1928 1931


August 1, 1953


February 1965


1988 to present








Company of Canada. A later directory for the same year shows that a public telephone for long distance calls only was located in A. E. Clavette's general store and the toll business was managed by him until 1926.


There were no local subscribers. Nairn Centre's first local subscriber was listed in the directory: Lorne Power Co Ld Power House ....


1 Mrs. E. A. McCormack was appointed Branch Manager. The public telephone was moved to the King George Hotel. The telephone office moved from the King George Hotel to the C.P.R. station on Trunk Road and a No. N1317A magneto switchboard with a 145-line capacity was installed. Customers cranked the telephone to establish connection.


Mrs. McCormack remained in charge until Mr. A. Leach took over the managerial reins in 1933. In June 1935, Mrs. R.I. Scott (later Mrs. R.I. Green) succeeded to the post and remained until July 31, 1953. The Bell Company closed the Nairn Centre telephone office and transferred the town's five customers to the Espanola common battery central office. Instead of activating a crank to summon the operator, Nairn Centre subscribers now merely lifted the receiver. Direct Distance Dialling was introduced. Espanola and Nairn Centre customers could now dial their own long distance calls without operator assistance. Nairn Centre enjoys state of the art services from Bell Canada.




Natural Gas heating became a reality.




Cable TV service was available to the residents of this community.


A communal water system was operational on August 1995.




Electricity is something that is so common to us that we take it for granted, until a power outage. It must have seemed like a wondrous event to the inhabitants of Nairn Centre in 1948. We were quick to take advantage of it. In fact, Nairn Public School was the first school to have fluorescent lights in northern Ontario. Around this time they also changed the outdoor toilets for indoor chemical ones in the basement of the school.


There was progress but the outdoor well and hand pump were still used for drinking water.


It wasn't until the 1950s that plumbing was installed and our school house now had flush toilets and indoor running cold water.