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1998 a busy year for centennials


As we continue to count down to the town’s centennial in 2003, an examination of the news shows 1998 also was a year to celebrate!

Communities in the district were celebrating centennials while town institutions were recognizing 100 years of existence.

The Fort Frances Public Library had begun in 1898 as a branch of the “Mechanics Institute,” a movement aimed at providing education for working men.

Growing and developing with the needs of the community, construction of a Carnagie Library began in 1914, and in 1967, a centennial addition established a museum in the library.

In 1998, Friends of the Library adorned century costumes to host a tea in recognition of the event.

The Fort Frances Museum also recognized the centennial of its building in 1998. Built as a school house in 1898, the building at 259 Scott St. was established because of the overflow of students attending the Little Red School House behind the Bank of Commerce.

The site hosted continuation and high school classes before becoming the Legion building.

The 1998 designation under the Ontario Heritage Act recognized the historical and community importance of this century-old facility in Fort Frances.

The Grand Masonic Lodge had held its first meeting in 1898 in the new school house and in 1998 also recognized a 100 years of existence in the community.

In 1898, the Municipality of McIrvine was incorporated comprising of the Township of McIrvine and the Village of Fort Frances. It was 50 years later that the Town of Fort Frances would annex the township of McIrvine.

As we prepare to celebrate the centennial of the Town of Fort Frances, what institutions, buildings, and organizations should we recognize as serving the needs and assisting in the continued development of the community?

Share your memories of the library, “Scott Street School building,” Masonic Lodge, or living in McIrvine with the Community History Scrapbook being compiled for the Centennial History Book project.

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