A Cold Day on The Bruce
(At Stokes Bay)

     Away back when weather was weather, and the Bruce Peninsula was as cold as Greenland, there came a particular February Day when the mercury really hit bottom – and here is how one woodchopper tells it.

     “One chilly morning, Monday, February 17th (1902 or 1908 ?) to be exact, I went out to split some wood as I usually do, mornings. It was so frosty that at the first blow I struck, the head flew off the axe. I picked it up out of the snow and went to the shed to get the hammer. Something flew over my shoulder. Looking at the hammer, I saw the one claw had broken off. I tried another blow and the other claw flew off. Took a look at the thermometer. Zounds! It was twenty below zero!

     As I took a quick glance at the path leading to the bush, a shimmering shadow in the glittering snow disappeared up the trail. Shucks, I said, rubbing my eyes. This is the Bruce Peninsula; no little men around here. Better go to the house and have a nice cold drink of water. So with the baldheaded hammer in my hand I went to the pump. It was frozen solid! Tarnation, mighty chilly around here this morning. May as well go to the house, fill my pipe, and think things over – which I did...”

“Big River” Creek below the bridge.

Page 24 of Old Timers’ Tales
A History of Stokes Bay and Area
(Bruce Peninsula)
By Helene Scott