Virginiatown & Kearns, Ontario : Mostly Photographs.

Revised May 17, 2024.

Cheminis Mountain and Kearns, Ontario, photo by Peter Law

Cheminis Mountain shines in the sun above Kearns, Ontario, December, 2020.
Photograph copyright (©) by Peter Law.

KLCVI Yearbooks | V-Town & Kearns Reunions | Cheminis | Kearns | Kerr-Addison | "I Remember" | Schools & Students | Virginiatown

Do you view this website often?
Hit the "Reload" button on your browser to make sure you see the latest updates.
2023 updates are marked 2023; 2024 updates are marked 2024.

Fight Cancer & Covid-19
With Your Home Computer!

Click/Tap this link
to access the World Community Grid website.

As of April 5, 2024
Are you in this list?
See Kearns & Virginiatown
on the latest version of
Google Maps.
Search this Kearns &
Virginiatown website
with FreeFind

Other photos of Kearns and Virginiatown are on my genealogy website.

Kirkland Lake : KLCVI Yearbooks & Reunion

2006 Virginiatown Reunion :

2010 Virginiatown Reunion :

Familysearch.org records for McGarry Township, Kirkland Lake, etc. :

1921 Census :

Historic Newspaper Articles :

Cheminis & Cheminis Mountain :

Eddie Duke Post Cards :

Kearns :

Joe Nickerson has lived all his life on the same street in Kearns. Formerly a railway worker, he is retired and took up sculpture in the mid 1990's. His medium is white PVC tubing. . . .
See photos of Joe's art and a short description by Peter Bikaunieks.
Photos by Peter Bikaunieks, Lloyd Hart and Andy Ross.
On the evening of August 21, 2007, Joe Nickerson's house was destoyed by an arsonist and he barely escaped with his life. I'll let Peter Bikaunieks tell it . . .

" . . . we visited Kirkland Lake Aug. 20/07 and stopped at Joe's place in Kearns Aug. 21. . . . Stayed an hour and had a good chin wag. Interestingly, Joe loves tropical birds and lets a number of them fly free around the house. He also has a large aquarium where he keeps several large, green turtles. After leaving Joe's we climbed Mount Cheminis and drove home next day. That evening we learned Joe's house had been torched while he slept. He had, it seems, barely escaped alive. According to an on-line news item, police were, and still are, investigating the fire. Ironically, the day before, Joe had remarked how well some of his neighbours treat him. I noted that because Joe is a bit of an eccentric, as you well know. Both the house that was burned and his studio across the street, which was not burned, were extensively decorated with his PVC art objects. Though every one in Kearns seems friendly, I always sensed, and likely Joe also sensed, that some folks might be irked by his eccentricity. Our immediate difficulty was that there was no way to contact Joe. We finally called the McGarry municipal office in Virginiatown. While Joe had survived the fire all right, he had simply vanished. . . . .

" Finally, early in October, Joe called us. . . . We learned he was staying with friends in Quebec. He said that on the night of the fire he was awakened by a loud explosion near his head and quickly learned the house was on fire. He had just enough time to save himself and a couple of his birds. The rest and the turtles perished in the fire. He got out with the clothes on his back, a bird cage, and a suitcase of his important documents which he kept packed for an emergency. Otherwise everything was lost in the fire, which also engulfed the abandoned house next door. . . . He's thinking of returning to Kearns after the winter with the view of rebuilding his place. I asked if he had any suspicions about how the fire was started. He said many suspicions but no proof. Still, he plans to come home to Kearns where he has lived for 60 years. "

Kerr-Addison Gold Mines :

"I Remember, I Remember . . . ." :

In this section some people have put their writing skills to the test and written their recollections of their childhood in Cheminis and/or Kearns and/or Virginiatown. Please keep these items coming in!

My Trip Down Memory Lane. by Mance (Potvin) Delahunt who, with her parents and three siblings, lived in V-Town from about 1938 to 1953. She started Grade 1 at V-Town Public School in 1941. Many people are noted in passing, but specially mentioned are: Laura & Enid Durham, Dr. Hagerman, John Porter, Joan Rebelski, Rosalie St Aubin. Other surnames mentioned: Austin, Bury, Greer, Malane, McCann, Muck, Neville, Perron, Phillips, Weiler.


A V-Town Kid in the 1940's. by Graham (Glen) Bromley. Born in 1934 on a farm near Pembroke, Ont. Glen's family moved to Kirkland Lake where he attended Grade 1 in 1941. By 1942 they were living in Kearns and then later on Coville St. in Virginiatown. After finishing school in V-Town Glen went to KLCVI, graduating in 1953. Surnames mentioned: Aceti, Bolduc, Brewer, Bromley, Buskey, Cameron, Cutler, Del Bosco, Foley, Golden, Hamilton, Heard, Judge, Latimer, Mann, McCall, McCauley, McCurdy, McMorin, Moore, Oehring, Palmer, Radakovich, Ramsey, Rebelski, Stratford, Turner, Whalen, Wilkie, Young.


A Child's View of Virginiatown in the 1940's. A wonderful document by Kathleen Anne Palmer-O'Neil who was born in Virginiatown in 1942. The Palmers lived there from 1938 until 1948. Several photos are included. Surnames: Green, McKenna, Oehring, Palmer, Pollock, Prentice, Stewart.

Postscript, Christmas 2011. Written a year and a half after the article above. The response was (and continues to be) tremendous and Kate has a few thoughts on this.


Childhood Memories of Virginiatown, 1948-1953. Written by Mike Jewell, this is partly a response to Kathleen Palmer's article above. But Mike carries on the story after the Palmers left Virginiatown in 1948. Families given more than passing mention are: Bouchard, Carter, Charlebois, Cox, Joyce, Lamoureux, Palmer, Pollock, Scott, Spencer, Wilkie.


Memories of Virginiatown & Kearns, 1944-1956. Written by Art Brown who lived in Virginiatown in the early and mid-1940's and then in Kearns until 1956. A great many families are mentioned in passing but details are given about the following: Allan, Bolger, Guerin, Judge, McCrea, McLennan, McMorin, Nelson, Nugent, Portelance, Turcotte, Wilkie.


Reflections on Chemins, 1946-56. By Germaine Larmond who was postmistress in Chemins from late 1950 to 1956. Surnames mentioned: Francoeur, Landry.


Virginiatown Memories. A short biography and reminiscence by Mike Molotkin who lived in Virginiatown from 1958 to 1978. Surnames mentioned: Adam, Bordin, Clouthier, Croteau, Eastman, Kirby, Klimov, Kowbassa, Paquette, Spack.


Kerr Addison Underground. An article by Mike Molotkin. What was it like to leave the surface and head underground? Mike worked underground at Kerr Addison from January 1977 to April 1978 as a motor crew operator, lumber journeyman and in a stope as well. Names mentioned: Otto Bock, Lou Bougie, Harry Curtis, Steve David, Hans Kneiremen, Stan Materny, Michel Paquette, Paul Ranger, Bill Reynolds, Frank Sacher, Donald Veinot, Richard White, Ron Wollner, John Yargeau.

Working in a Stope, Underground. This second article by Mike Molotkin, gives more details of drilling, blasting and slushing in a stope underground.


McGarry Twp. Schools : Student Lists & Class Photos

This section has only class photos of Virginiatown Public School, with Kearns Public School photos in the Kearns section above. They are arranged by year, then by grade within year, to help you find your class. This is a very popular section of this website, so if you have photos of any of the missing classes, I would love to get a copy from you. It doesn't matter if you've forgotten names, website users will identify most students very quickly.

Margaret Stratford, 1913-2016

Margaret Stratford in 1945 Margaret Stratford in 2013

Margaret Bernice (McClung) Stratford, former teacher and principal of Kearns and McGarry Public Schools, passed away on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.


Most of these 3,800-plus names were transcribed from the McGarry Township 40th Anniver­sary booklet, published in 1986. The students listed are from Virgin­ia­town Public School starting in 1936, Kearns Public School starting in 1955, and Ecole St-Louis starting in 1956. The names dated after 1986 were sent to me by former students – please to correct your name or add it to the list if it is missing. Names are listed alpha­bet­ically with all three schools combined. Click on a letter below to find a surname. (Revised May 9, 2024)


Thanks to Ellen Watson for transcribing these class lists from various sources. There are only a few classes listed for each year and all classes may not be complete. Included are the adult students of an English as a Second Language class given about 1946-47.

Public School Yearbook for 1945. A 32-page booklet published by the Public School Area of McGarry. Includes class photos of all grades. Many thanks to Brenda Belmonte for sending me the page scans.

Virginiatown :

Please note that school class photos are in a separate section immediately above.

Did you know J. (possibly Joseph) Piwowarczyk in Virginiatown? He was Ukrainian and lived in Virginiatown at least in 1949 & 1950, and probably worked at Kerr-Addison. See More . . .

1930's to 1940's PHOTO ALBUM, with photos from KERR ADDISON & DOBIE TOWNSITE.

thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo Malane Family Photos. Thanks to Eleanor "Pidie" (Malane) Balleny for this collection of 15 photos spanning the years 1938 to 1952. In addition to Malane family members, there are photos of: John & Jimmy Baker, David & Elizabeth Beggs, Ren? Cadieux, Ann & John Cutler, Jane Dewar, Enid Durham, Ronald Gauthier, Julia Golden, Dick Guerin, Brenda Jarvis, Wendy McIntyre, JoAnne Postle, Jim & Mary Row, Jane Wickham. Only one girl is unidentified. Other Malane photos are posted in the school class photos and the Kerr-Addison sections.
thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo Collison Family Photos. Thanks to Leona (Collison) Belmonte for this collection of 10 photos taken from about 1945 to 1953. Surnames: Aceti, Allen, Bell, Burke, Cameron, Collison, Eagle, Farrell, Garvin, Gray, Hamelin, Jewell, Lacoeux, McLennan, McPhail, North, Oehring, Palmer, Robinson, Ross, Scott, Stori, Stoss, Turner, Webb, Wilcox.
thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo Michiel Family Photos. Thanks to Patrick Michiel for these 14 family photos, and one news clipping, mostly taken from about 1945 to the '60's. One was taken about 1996. Surnames: Gauthier, Michiel, Richter, Rymer.
thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo Lamoureux Family Photos. Thanks to Richard Lamoureux for this collection of 23 photos, taken from about 1945 to the 1960's. Surnames so far: Bock, Channing, Darragh, Lamoureux, Locke, Lopata, Mann, McIntyre, Morrison, Reimer, Stratford, Tabaka. Richard's grand­father, Cliff, and father Edward, were barbers in Virginiatown for 40 years or more.
Richard Lamoureau : The Wise Dummy Poet. Richard Lamoureux is the grandson of Cliff Lamoureux, (see the photo collection above). Raised in Virginiatown, he is the author of two books of very personal poetry.
thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo thumbnail photo Poulin Family photos. Thanks to Dianne (Poulin) Bush for this collection of 34 photos. They were taken between about 1953 and the 1970's in both Kearns and Virginiatown. Most people are identified but some, especially school students, are not. Surnames: Ayotte, Beltrame, Breen, Briand, Camden, Cameron, Chapman, Cook, Coté, Daviau, Drummond, Falardeau, Fortin, Gauthier, Grimard, Gusmanis, Hull, Lavoie, Lemire, Locke, Lowe, Malane, Malloy, Morin, Oehring, Poulin, Prest, Roy, Sagin, Spadatto, Stratford, Sudol, Tardif, Timmerman, Turnbull, Vieglas, Young.
photo thumbnail
Kerr-Addison site
photo thumbnail
North V-Town
photo thumbnail
photo thumbnail
Old School site
photo thumbnail
North V-Town

Click on a thumbnail above to see a larger photo.

Larder Lake :

Other photos of Kearns and Virginiatown are on my genealogy website.

Does anyone know what happened to the "Welcome to Virginiatown" website?

Do you have photos of the Kearns & Virginiatown area?
I would like to put them on this website.

Website format is © Copyright 1999- by Charles Dobie.
All photographs are © Copyright by their contributors.

See my other websites:
Ontario Local Histories | Atikokan, Ontario | Royal Canadian Navy | Dobie Family genealogy | My photos on Flickr | Top

This website is hosted by Decibite.com