Carelessness deprives us of a historic treasure – William Teddy Park Closed

 

It was the day after the long weekend. The grandkids had their annual “playground ” at “Omi’s all inclusive” as I call it humorously. They brought also a friend along from Germany who was awestruck about the size of our province. He declared, “900 kilometres! Wow, you could travel from Denmark to Italy, but he was also genuinely impressed about the ability to swim, water ski, and do stunts with a seadoo, and even heard the wolves howling in the distance. After my enthusiastic bunch of parents and teenagers left, I stripped and washed bedding and towels to distract from my sadness on goodbyes and was too lazy after all that to take my dog, Mickey for his walk.


The easy solution was to take ball, chucked, and dog to William Teddy Park and let chase after the ball while I would pickup (as always) garbage. At the entrance lay a large spruce tree across the road and a sign. I parked close to the highway and walked by the obstruction. We moseyed around the shore and bushes and as I admired the view from the shallow sandy edge of the lake, and with our little town in the distance, I noticed a paddle boat. It was broken and stuck in the sand. How odd, I thought. I walked by the deteriorated, weathered sign that stated, “A Sign of History – Adopted by the Rotary Club…” and passing the large, flower decorated cross. I was wondering who “Timo” was, who deserved such a place of honor and remembrance?

 

 

Through all our exploring, (yes the geocache is still there hidden), I was glad to see the ruts were straightened out and some brushing had been done – but some stinking, rotten piles of grass clipping were still obvious and hidden under the bushes. Hidden was a black garbage bag – the stench was so awful – what could possibly be in it? Rotten fish? On another spot I could see someone made an oil change… at a piece of history? How disrespectful can one get?

On my drive back to town my thoughts wandered. Why was the area cordoned off? and the ruts smoothed out and some brushing done? But then I also remembered two years ago when the doors of all our local people who had an impact on our history had been setup, that I asked the late Lori Johnson, our Director of Tourism, if a sign had been made for William Teddy; after all he was the one who found gold there approximately 100 years ago. Her answer was “It is in the making”.

Now it made sense to me (in my naive imagination), the Township is cleaning up and making it a park again in honour of William Teddy, for people to hike and swim. Little did I know that I lived history that day, the 8th of August – my last drive into the park!!

The next day on my way to the berry patch, big trucks and machinery put large pieces of concrete and a “closed” sign up. The friend that was with me, explained that she had heard through the Wawa-news that some moron dumped raw sewage into the lake, our drinking water; and that the township is frustrated and exhausted about all the mess and destruction out there – and closed it permanently down!

I was shocked to say the least. Another place we lost to enjoy nature, due to dumpers and irresponsible litterers, like Surluga Road and Driftwood Beach. Soon it will be Vallee Park, today it is William Teddy.

At William Teddy Campground ‘Summer of 70’ – Around the picnic table were our hosts, standing with a white t-shirt is Willy Grundt. Seated in the lawn chair is Karin with Marcus and Kai.

 

My late husband, Willy was a maintenance man more than 40 years ago, helping in his spare time, the Rotary Club of Wawa to keep the camping place in tip-top shape. There were power outlets, toilets and yes, showers. Grass to be cut and trash bins to be emptied. During those days he met many nice campers and one American family in particular, took a liking to Willy, and invited us to an outdoors brunch. Over an open fire they cooked up a huge pan of “Texas Eggs”, which my young boys enjoyed. They also enjoyed feeding the fire with sticks and dry branches. Many boatings started from the boat launch there, and a splash at the small beach on the other side.

Now all this is now history, due to some assholes! Why do we let the slobs win? We have the technology today. We have cameras that could catch the culprits? What is wrong with us law abiding citizens? Why do we let these pigs who have no respect, win and deprive us of all that is precious? And valuable?

About Photos and article by Karin Grundt

One comment

  1. I helped haul gravel into this site while working for the Township of Michipicoten under Harry McCluskie
    my boss along with fellow driver James ( Jim ) Bouliane and using a small tractor belonging to Jr. Miller.
    This was early 60’s
    Such a shame.
    Wayne Watson