R. D. Lawrence (1921-2003)

Ronald Douglas Lawrence (1921-2003) lived in many places and tried many things. Among his accomplishments he and his second wife, Joan, maintained a wilderness property, “The Place”, near Uphill (page 219, The Place in the Forest) in Kawartha Lakes (then Victoria County) where Lawrence studied the local wolf pack. He wrote about it in The Place in the Forest. Then they bought a 350-acre farm of mostly wilderness, “North Star Farm,” where they cared for orphaned and abandoned animals. He chronicled the humorous account of this time in the book, The Zoo That Never Was. Lawrence sold the property after Joan’s death.

Lawrence was a Canadian naturalist and wildlife author of over 30 books.

Born on a ship off the coast of Spain, Lawrence was raised in Spain and at age 14 lied about his age so he could fight in the Spanish Civil War. He served for two years until he found himself outnumbered in the Pyrenees and fled to France. He made his way back home just in time for the arrival of WWII. He enlisted with the British and went to war again. He participated in D-Day at Normandy where he was seriously injured.

After the war, Lawrence he enrolled at Cambridge University where he studied biology for three years but did not complete his degree. He returned to Spain where he worked as a journalist and novelist.

He moved to Canada in 1954 and became a reporter for the Toronto Star. He also worked for the Winnipeg Press and Toronto Telegram. Among his reporting duties, he went to Africa as a foreign correspondent.

Lawrence and his third wife bought property in Haliburton. Lawrence helped establish the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre.

He died in Haliburton in 2003.

Books set in Kawartha Lakes:

The Place in the Forest (1967)

The Zoo That Never Was (1981)


Wildlife in Canada (1966)

The Place in the Forest (1967)

Where the Water Lilies Grow (1968)

The Poison Makers (1969)

Cry Wild (1970)

Maple Syrup (1971)

Wildlife in North America: Mammals (1974)

Wildlife in North America: Birds (1974)

Paddy (1977)

Discover Ste. Marie (1978)

The North Runner (1979)

Secret Go the Wolves (1980)

The Study of Life: A Naturalist’s View (1980)

The Zoo That Never Was (1981)

Voyage of the Stella (1982)

The Ghost Walker (1983)

Canada’s National Parks (1983)

The Shark (1985)

In Praise of Wolves (1986)

Trans-Canada Country, 1986

The Natural History of Canada (1988)

For the Love of Mike (Pour L’Amour de Mike) (1989)

Wolves (1990)

The White Puma (1990)

Trail of the Wolf (1993)

The Green Trees Beyond (1994) – memoir

A Shriek in the Forest Night (1996)

Owls, the Silent Fliers (1997)

Hardy, William George (1895-1979)

W. G. Hardy was a writer, professor and hockey administrator. Born and raised on a farm called “The Elms” near Lindsay, Ontario, to parents George and Annie, Hardy was one of seven children. His sister, Winnifred Hardy, served as a nursing sister for WWI. Official records put his place of birth as Peniel, Ontario, but all that remains of the community once located at the intersection of Peniel Road and Kawartha Lakes County Road 46 is a church.

South of this intersection, Hardy attended school where he used to daydream while completing school by age 10. “They let me go at my own pace.” He was writing epic poetry by age 12. For the next few years, he worked the farm and taught himself Greek. He already knew Latin.

Hardy attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto, first attempting a mathematics degree, but then switching to the Classics so he could obtain a scholarship. He paid for his degree in scholarships, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1917.

While at university, Hardy served the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps. In April 1917, Hardy tried to enlist for WWI, signing up for the 109th Battalion in Lindsay, but was rejected for medical reasons. He returned to serve the University of Toronto’s Officers Company, but was discharged due to his heart condition. He never saw active service.

While working towards his Masters in Arts at the University of Toronto, Hardy married Llewella May Sonley and managed a publication called The Rebel.

After obtaining his Masters in 1920, Hardy took a position as a lecturer at the University of Alberta, and by 1922 he earned a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a professorship at the University of Alberta. From 1938 to 1964, Hardy served at head of the Department of Classics. He gave talks about the Classics on CBC Radio. In 1979, the CBC published unedited transcripts of this radio programs in the book, CBC television programs on W.G. Hardy and Hazel McCuaig (1979.) Additionally, Hardy criticized fascism and the modern education system. His articles about the Alberta education system were collected and published in the booklet, Education in Alberta (1954.)

After relocating to Alberta, Hardy began coaching the Alberta Golden Bears hockey team. He served as president of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association and was appointed to the Alberta branch of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. Hardy put forth a motion to have the 1936 Summer Olympics taken away from Berlin due to Germany banning Jewish athletes. Hockey in Western Canada flourished with Hardy’s involvement, but was not without problems:

Hardy publicized the CAHA ambitions and published the article “Should We Revise Our Amateur Laws?” in Maclean’s on November 1, 1936. He argued for updating the definition of amateur, when it was commonly accepted to bend the rules in hockey. He felt that the AAU of C was hypocritical for classifying cricket, soccer, and tennis as pastime sports where athletes may compete with or against professionals and still be called amateurs. He sought for these inconsistencies with respect to professionals and amateurs should be “ironed out and a common-sense view be taken of the situation”. He further stated that the old definition of amateur came “from the days when only gentlemen with independent means were supposed to engage in sport”; and that in the era of the Great Depression, it was justified that a hockey player be allowed legitimate employment in sport and be compensated for work lost while away at playoffs or representing his country at international events.[39]

The amateur issue achieved significant press coverage by November 1936. Canadian journalist Scott Young wrote that public perception was against the AAU of C definition, and that Canadians were in favour of amateurs being compensated for travel, which was perceived as a reason for Canada not winning the gold medal in ice hockey at the 1936 Winter Olympics.[42] 


(Scott Young was also a writer in Kawartha Lakes.)

Hardy’s legacy in hockey lives on in the Dr. W. G. Hardy Trophy established 1951 and the Hardy Cup established in 1968.

While it may seem strange for a scholar of the Classics to be so involved in ice hockey and writing novels, Hardy didn’t think so. “That was the Greek way of doing things. I didn’t want to become a straight academic. I was too interested in people.”

Hardy wrote his first novel, A Son of Eli, during a two-week period in 1929 when his wife was away from home. McLean’s published the book as a serial. Hardy said, “I write very fast. I never pretended to be a genius, but I have a talent for writing. I know my stuff.” Hardy went on to publish a dozen more books, some fiction and others non-fiction, countless short stories, as well as curate two anthologies.

Hardy was president of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Authors Association in 1972 and president of the national organization at least three times. He gave workshops and was a judge for writing contests, including the 1963 contest for new lyrics for the Maple Leaf Forever.

Hardy said his writing was a hobby, but that writing was hard work. He believed, “Some write for money, some for fame and recognition and some because they have a passion to express themselves. Amateur writers need the passion most.” He did not think writers should be too ‘arty.’ He believed in writing to market while also finding a compromise between what writers want to write and what the public wants to read. “After all,” he said, “the function of words is to put across ideas— and so why not market them’.”

“I believe that everyone has a novel inside them, formed through their own experiences and observations,” Dr. Hardy said tliis was his third reason for believing writers in Alberta could produce novels.

Dr. Hardy, who was president of the 1972 convention of the Canadian Authors Association, said he believes there are many advantages to writing a novel rather than a short story.

He said novels can use more characters, more places and a less – rigid structure, than short stories. Dr. Hardy said “besides these points, writing a novel is more fun.”

How do people go about starting to write a novel? Dr. Hardy said a good way for most to begin is to base the novel on n topic with which they are familiar.

He said to begin any of the three main types of novels — historical, contemporary life, novelists should follow a few basic steps.

To start with they should analyze what special knowledge they have going for them which could be helpful as background for their writing. Then books should be read to see how’ other authors have handled that type of novel.

The next basic step is for the writer to decide if he wants to write in the first or third person. Dr. Hardy said he prefers first person because by use of first person many points of view and many different characters can be presented.

The other suggestions Dr. Hardy gave were to draw up a resume — to help decide what the novel will say; to choose characters carefully and to decide on an approach — realistic or romantic.

He said one of the last things a writer does before actually writing the novel is a story line. By use cf the story line the information that doesn’t fit the general theme is discarded.

Dr. Hardy said when the novelist has had a book published he has completed “an achievement equivalent to any in the world.”



A Son of Eli (1929)

Father Abraham (1935)

Turn Back the River (1938)

All the Trumpets Sounded (1942)

The Unfulfilled (1952)

The City of Libertines (1957)

From Sea Unto Sea: Canada — 1850 to 1910 (1959)

The Greek and Roman World (1962)

Our Heritage from the Past (1964)

Journey into the past (1965)

Origins and Ordeals of the Western World: Lessons from Our Heritage in History (1968)

The Scarlet Mantel (1978)

The Bloodied Toga (1979, posthumous)


Alberta Golden Jubilee Anthology (1955)

Alberta: A Natural History (1967)

McDonnell, William “Squire” (1814-1900)

Early settler in Lindsay, Ontario, William McDonnell is perhaps best known locally as the author of Manita, a poem he created about a local legend. The legend tells of young Iroquois chief Ogemah, who fell in love with Manita, a beautiful chief’s daughter of their rivals, the Heron peoples. Since the poem was written without the consent or input of indigenous peoples, it is an example of cultural appropriation.

While the poem spans 26 pages, the book opens with several pages describing the town of Lindsay, and with the last pages of the book consisting of advertising for local steamboats, it appears the book was created to draw tourism.

The controversy around Manita is not new.

Watson Kirkconnell asserts many of the facts from the original legend were changed. “From this era, too, dates the legend of Manita. In the version told me by Johnston Paudash, son of the Mississaga Chief at the Nanahazhoo Reserve, Rice Lake, Manita or Nomena (“light of love”) was the daughter of a great Mississaga chief who lived at Pleasant Point, Sturgeon Lake. Ogemah, an Iroquois chief, paddled alone from his own country to ask for her in marriage, but was murdered by a jealous Mississaga brave. About 1886 a poem on this theme was published in Lindsay by the late Mr. William McDonnell. This poem is a pretty little idyll, but as a portrayal of Indian psychology it is hopelessly sentimental and therefore unbelievable. It also substitutes Huron for Mississaga, Sturgeon Point for Pleasant Point and brings Ogemah on the stage by way of Lindsay, the wrong direction entirely.” (from Victoria County Centennial History, 1921 edition.)

(Paudash’s version of the story of Manita and Ogemah has been captured in this Ford Moynes’s article.)

The only known remaining copy of Manita, once belonging to local writer and historian Ford Moynes, is located in the archives of the Kawartha Lakes Public Library. They’ve recently digitized the book and made Manita available to view online.

Although he was known locally as Squire McDonnell and the author of Manita, outside of Kawartha Lakes (then Victoria County), he was the author of several books, which were published in the hundreds of thousands and read around the world, and a play that was performed in Toronto:

From the pen of Mr. George Beall, Albert Street, and from his scrap book comes a second interesting story: “Wm. McDonnell, 1814-1900, born Cork. Ireland. Wm. McDonnell went to Peterborough in 1830 and then studied law at Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He settled in Lindsay in the 1840’s and founded a tannery, and later a store about 1852. He was in the Lindsay Customs Office and also a Lieut. Colonel in the Militia. He was a good musician and composed both libretts and music for the 3-act opera “The Fisherman’s Daughter”, which was put on at the Princess Theatre, Toronto.

He very successfully wrote several books the sales of which ran into hundreds of thousands. He published two narrative poems – “Manita” and “Cleope”. Manita was based on an Indian legend of Sturgeon Point, and later a steamer, owned by Charles Burgoyne of Fenelon Falls, and ran daily trips between Lindsay and Coboconk was named “Manita” after the heroine of this poem.

Wm. McDonnell was always known in Lindsay as “ Squire” McDonnell. He built two houses on the north end of York Street on the river bank. The first was burned in the fire of 1861 and the second is with some additions, the present Canadian Legion Hall.

After his father brought young McDonnell to Canada, business reverses compelled the father to return to Ireland, but he died on the way home and young McDonnell was left alone in Canada to fend for himself at the age of 16 years.

His indomitable energy, intelligence and uprightness won for him the place which he was to hold until the day of his death, a place in the hearts; of all who knew him. His record was an exceptionally good one. He was chosen as clerk of the Division Court and appointed Justice of the Peace. He was a member of the County Council, was Reeve and for many years a member of the Council of the Town of Lindsay. He was a frequent contributor to the Public Press and wrote a series of articles on “ Government” for the Toronto Globe.

It is interesting to note that he supervised the taking of the first census in Victoria County and appointed Census Commissioner by a warrant issued the 2nd of January, 1852, by his Excellency James Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Governor General of Canada.

Wm. McDonnell was a member of King Hiram Lodge A.F. and A.M. He was interested in education and for many years held the position of chairman of the Grammar School Board. Up to the time of his death he maintained a keen interest in public affairs. He died at the age of 81 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.”


(Note: the above quote from an article by Ford Moynes published in the Lindsay Daily Post, no date known, cites McDonnell’s biography as written by George Beall and taken from the Beall scrapbook. Upon searching the digitized copy of the Beall scrapbook, made available online by the Kawartha Lakes Public Library and courtesy of the Kawartha Lakes Museum & Archives, it appears the McDonnell biography pages are missing. Perhaps they will turn up in the Ford Moynes fonds.)

Although the publication of A Man from Mars was announced in The St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri, USA) of Saturday 5th December 1891, it appears it never made it to print:

A theosophical novel by Mr. W. McDonnell, author of the very successful “Exeter Hall,” and of “Heathen of the Heath,” is announced for early issue by John A. Taylor & Co. of New York. The title selected for the forthcoming book is “A Man from Mars,” and the story is said to run on the lines of Edward Bellamy’s sociological “Looking Backward.” * The work purports to describe a visit to the planet Mars by two adepts in theosophy by occult powers. They find a perfect social system in operation amongst the inhabitants of Mars—society being organized on the same principles as those laid down in Mr. Bellamy’s story.

source: https://wordhistories.net/2021/05/14/man-from-mars/
McDonnell’s house, now the Royal Canadian Legion branch 67. The riverbank is now McDonnell Park. This postcard is from the Beall scrapbook (from the Beall collection at the Kawartha Lakes Museum & Archives)


A Man from Mars (1891)

Exeter Hall: a theological romance (1873) (also at Kawartha Lakes Public Library)

The Heathens of the Heath (1874)


Marina, The Fisherman’s Daughter: an operatic romance in three acts (1884)


Manita: a poem (1884) (also at Kawartha Lakes Public Library)


Other possible publications:

Family Creeds: a romance (1879)

Reminisces of a Preacher: a theological romance (1887)

Lucy E.M. Black

Lucy E.M. Black is the author of The Marzipan Fruit Basket, a collection of short stories (Inanna Publications, 2017) and Eleanor Courtown, a work of historical fiction (Seraphim Editions, 2017).  Her novel, Stella’s Carpet (Now or Never Publishing, 2021) is a study of intergenerational trauma. The Brickworks (Now or Never Publishing) will be released in Fall 2023. Her award-winning short stories have been published in Britain, Ireland, USA and Canada in literary journals and magazines including Cyphers Magazine, the Hawai’i Review, The Antigonish Review and others. She is a dynamic workshop presenter, experienced interviewer and freelance writer.  She lives with her partner in the small lakeside town of Port Perry, Ontario, the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island, First Nations. 

Of her first book of short stories (The Marzipan Fruit Basket), best-selling author Donna Morrissey says Lucy E.M. Black arrives into the world of Can Lit with this compilation of beautifully written short stories that speak to the heartfelt intimacies of both her characters and her readers.

Stella’s Carpet is a treat – a multinational, multigenerational gem of a novel about family, loss and the ties that bind.  Lucy Black writes with heart, verve… and oodles of talent.”  —Brad Smith, award-winning author of Copperhead Road, The Return of Kid Cooper, The Goliath Run, Cactus Jack  

Lucy writes and distributes a Monthly Newsletter, whichincludes book reviews, her book news, as well as promotes local arts events

She is a columnist for the Pineridge Arts Council, The Writing Room is the name of her column

She is a freelance writer for Silver Sage Magazine and other publications

Lucy has assumed the position of Creative Non-fiction Editor, The Artisanal Writer, an online journal discussing the craft of writing


Facebook:  Lucy EMBlack (2200 friends)

Instagram: lucyemblack (3450 followers)

Lucy has served as Juror for The Writers’ Union of Canada writing contest multiple times, in addition to several local writing contests

She is an experienced workshop presenter on The Craft of Writing, Artifact-Based Writing, Creative Non-Fiction, Memoir

She regularly makes presentations to Book Clubs, Service Clubs and Libraries on the craft of writing.

Author of:

The Marzipan Fruit Basket

Eleanor Courtown

Stella’s Carpet

Tuinman, Gwen

Gwen Tuinman is author of The Last Hoffman. Her novel writing explores human tenacity and how women navigate the social restrictions of their era. Gwen is currently writing her third novel. Her fiction and nonfiction works appear in The Globe and MailReader’s DigestWunderlit Magazine, and Blank Spaces Magazine. She blogs about writing life, introspections and history at GwenTuinman.com

Author of:

The Last Hoffman

Matters of Time, an anthology


It affects our every decision. We set alarms, celebrate milestones, and perform daily routines.

Eighty-eight years and twenty-two birthdays, there’s a riddle. Five bucks to the person who can puzzle through that one.

We can change almost every aspect of our lives, but time. Its swiftly moving current propels us to an unknown end.

People who feel trapped will do just about anything to free themselves.

This multi-genre collection will thrill and entertain you with tales of characters making choices with their given minutes…until they run out of time.

Maybe you remember where you were when the clocks stopped and the nightmare began.

Contains stories with zombies, mermaids, magic, and enchantment.

With stories by Kawartha Lakes authors:

Altaire Gural

Sharon Overend

Lori Jean Rowsell

Sara C. Walker


The Lindsay Advocate

Toronto Star

Jasmine Fogwell

Jasmine Fogwell grew up in Norland, Ontario.

Author website: www.jasminefogwell.com

While living in the old inn of Nemesté, James discovers that he and his parents are not the only ones calling the inn ‘home’. On the third floor lives a mysterious old lady named Rionzi DuCrét. Though Rionzi is feared by the villagers and confined to her rooms, she and James strike up an unlikely friendship and soon discover they have both befriended leafy, mushroom footed creatures in the woods called Fidoris.

James’s parents tell him he is too old to have imaginary friends like the Fidoris. And when 150 year old Rionzi DuCrét tells of her Fidori adventures, the people of Nemesté say she has gone insane. Will James and Rionzi be able to prove the Fidoris are real, even though their secret mission is threatened by suspicious villagers and their own doubts about the existence of the Fidoris begin to grow?

An Unlikely Friendship
The Purple Flower
The Journey to the Top of the Trees

Keith Weaver

Keith Weaver was born in Lindsay and raised in Coboconk, but now live in Toronto. His novel, Balsam Sirens, takes place at Balsam Lake.

Publisher website: www.iguanabooks.ca

For Mark Whelan, Private Investigator, it all begins in a sombre but entirely unremarkable way: a visit to the morgue to provide moral support to a client as he formally identifies his brother. But Whelan’s interest is piqued by a link between the victim’s death and Whelan’s own youth and by signs that the death is the result of something darker than the “accident” being suggested by the police. The appearance of a mysterious message from the dead man, the discovery that his apartment had been burgled, and an attempt on Whelan’s life prove that something else, something very valuable, is in play. Then the bodies begin to pile up. Balsam Sirens tells the story of a private investigator who takes on a case that appears routine, but who is soon swept to the edge of a psychological abyss by the abduction of his wife. Whelan, a PI colleague, and an unlikely ally – a fearless bush pilot called Kate – drive the action forward to a gun battle and a surprising outcome.

An Uncompromising Place
Recipe Cops
Balsam Sirens