Text Size

Early Facts

In 1896, the year Nairn Centre incorporated, Canada had three different Prime Ministers. SirMacKenzie Bowell (Conservative Party) was the fifth Prime Minister and held office for 16months from 1894 until April 1896. A revolt within his own cabinet obliged him to resign.


The Conservatives and the Governor General asked Sir Charles Tupper to form a government.Tupper became Prime Minister on May 1st, 1896. He called an election on June 23 and wasdefeated by the Liberals under Sir Wilfred Laurier.


On July 11, 1896, Sir Wilfred Laurier became the first French Canadian to attain the post ofPrime Minister. He remained in power for the next 15 years.


1 * School expenses in the 1900's were less than one thousand dollars a year.


2 * Work was done on township roads by men earning fifteen cents an hour.


3 * Men had the option to provide statutory labour in lieu of municipal taxes.


4 * The amount of money spent on the roads in the early years by the township was agrand total of six hundred dollars.


5 * The first barber in town was a coloured man named Robert Stitts from Alabama. Mr.Stitts was a very enterprising man, in his shop on Front Street he not only cut hair,but he was also a shoe maker and ran an ice-cream parlour.


6 * The first store was located on Hall Street and owned by John Hall. It was a generalstore with food, shoes, some clothing, nails and hardware. Feed and grain were kept inthe back room where there was a large scale to weigh them. All logging equipment wassold-off after the logging closed. For its time it was a fair-sized store.


7 * Bill Lindsay was also a barber.


8 * Short hair was the style for males, young and old.


9 * Girl's hair was short with bangs or braids or puffs on the side. Ladies wore their hairlong and tied in the back, or up in a bun.


10 * During the time when bobby pins and barrettes became popular one lady remembersgetting a pair of butterfly barrettes from the Crick family.


11 * There were two blacksmiths in town. The first was Steve Kuisma who was locatedon Smith Street. The other was Hilligard Smith who lived on Minto Street.


12 * Two of the largest families were the Martin's and the Crick's. Who had 10 to 12children.


13 * The most popular sports played were hockey, softball and broomball.


14 * The first post office established in Nairn Centre was on Hall Street next to the Hallstore. The postmaster was Andy Dever.


15 * Al's Inn was the first restaurant in Nairn Centre. It was owned by Mr. & Mrs. BrodieCumming and was located at the junction of McIntyre and Minto Streets. The samebuilding is now the Rainbow Truck Stop. It was moved there when the new Highway #17was built around 1947.


16 * There were two livery stables, one was located where the playground is now and theother was Lindsay's on Minto Street.


17 * The crafts and hobbies of the people in earlier days were quilting, knitting, crocheting,weaving, spinning, embroidering, etc.


18 * There were two gold mines on the hills where people picked blueberries which waslocated at the south end of Smith Street going towards Wabagishik Lake (Old ClevelandRoad).


19 * At one time Mrs. Elizabeth Boyce was the organist for all three churches.




1 * The first town rink was located on McIntyre Street, where the Community Centre isnow.


2 * During hard times, in the 1930's a relief office was set up and vouchers were issuedfor food and clothing.


3 * Lake Agnew (a man-made lake) was named after a high official of INCO. It wasformed from the Spanish River above High Falls.


4 * INCO built the Big Eddy Dam, causing the river to flood creating a lake.


5 * Electricity was installed here in 1948 and street lights followed in the 1960's.


6 * From 1949 to 1954, Nairn Centre elected its first woman reeve, Mrs. EvelynMcCutcheon. She was the second woman reeve in all of Ontario.


7 * The oldest woman in Nairn Centre in 1996 is Mrs. Hazel Jefferies.


8 * The oldest man in Nairn Centre in 1996 is Mr. Frank Nelmes.


9 * In World War I, (1911 - 1919), thirty-five soldiers went to war from Nairn Centre. These soldiers made up 12 percent of the total population at the time.


10 * In World War II, (1940 - 1945), eighteen or nineteen soldiers went to war from Nairn 1896, 1898, 1902, 1903, 1904-1912, 1912-1921, 1921-1935, 1921-1935, 1935-1952, 1936, 1940, 1947, 1952, 1949-1954 1954-1956, 1956-1959, 1959-1962, 1962-1964, 1964-1970, 1966, 1970-1978, 1978-1980, 1980-1982, 1982-1984, 1984-1988, 1988-1992, 1992-1994, 1994, 1995