A headstone in the O’Hara Cemetery has the following, as seen through spots of moss:

  • 1859

    Erected by John Dickie of Cherryvale in Aberdeenshire, NB, to commemorate the tragic death of his son, Robert Donald Dickie, born 28 July 1825, who was robbed and murdered in his own house 10 January 1859, by Samuel Peter Rock, one of his own servants who was tried and convicted of the robbery and murder, and executed 13 June 1859.

    The cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of Highway 62 and north of Highway 7 on the west side of O’Hara Road. The grave plot is surrounded by an iron fence; it and the stone having been sent from overseas by his parents. Evidently the Dickie family was well-to-do, since the engraving is extensive, and the fence an embellishment not often seen.

    With the help of a Mr. Barbeau, Dickie was constructing a house, on the east side of Hastings Road opposite the current Thompson property. Returning to the cabin, probably on snowshoes, on January 10th, 1859, he found Rock going through a truck, and exclaimed “Oh my God, I am being robbed!” Rock produced a muzzle loading flintlock, fired at point blank range, and killed Dickie. Barbeau managed to get out of range unharmed.

    Barbeau went to neighbours to recount the event and get help. He was joined by Pat (Paddy) Nugent, Charlie Murphy Sr., and John Thompson (grandfather of George Thompson) and the four went in search of Rock. They found him at a hotel owned by Sandy Menzie, located north of Murphy’s Corners and near Ormsby. He was arrested (citizen’s arrest). Some people wanted to lynch him on the spot. Cooler heads prevailed however, and he was kept overnight in a boarded up room. The next day he was taken to Belleville, where he was imprisoned and eventually tried, convicted and hung in the Market Square.

  • 1850

    Dickie had emigrated to Australia but didn’t like it. He arrived in Upper Canada in the early 1850’s. The County of Hastings was being ‘opened up’ at the time, by way of travel (mostly by ox-cart) on what is now known as the ‘Old Hastings Road’. As an inducement, a person or family who cleared 8 acres of land was entitled to it.

    Dickie had built a small temporary cabin of about 10′X14′ near a southeast bay of what is now Dickey Lake (notice the different spelling). It was a general understanding by people in the area that he was in possession of gold, but whether in nuggets, bars or jewelry is not known. He was regarded favourably by people locally and in Coe Hill.

    Although Dickie’s first name was Robert, he was generally known by his second name, Donald.

    Many people have searched for the gold over the intervening years, including recent use of metal detectors, but none has ever been reported found.

Credit for a substantial part of the story above is due to George Thompson. The write-up is Grant Boundy.

Naming and Spelling of Dickey Lake

Sourced from Mr. Jeff Ball, Geographic Names Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

The card file in the MNR office indicated that the Patents Plan of 1876 had the name spelled as Dickey and not Dickie. Back in that era they didn’t go as far as we do today to make sure that the correct spelling and origin of names are proposed for apporval.

Dickey Lake was officially named on March 24th, 1936 by the Geographic Board of Canada based on map and document usage going back to at least 1876 (Patents Plan).

Information courtesy Helen McPherson

Origin of the name “Shawano”

Joe Sullivan, the original Sales Representative for property purchasing on Dickey Lake advised that the developers (Bowes & Cocks of Peterborough) named the area arounf 1969 – 1970. They checked with local Indian representatives and decided to call the area “Shawano” which translated means “Clear Water and Tall Pines” . Shawano covers approximately 1 000 acres encompassing Dickey Lake, Lost Lake, Perch Lake and Lake of Islands.

Information courtesy of SRI Historian, Helen McPherson

The Whitney Block, Toronto
The landmark, Queen’s Park circle tower, the Whitney Block has material from our local area.
Granite came from Coe Hill and marble for the floors came from Bancroft.
The birch wood trim came from Parry Sound and Algonquin Park.
Other materials such as the limestone cladding came from Queenston but any cladding repairs now have limestone from Indiana.


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