In 1906, the discovery of silver deposits in Cobalt began slowing down forcing prospectors and minors to venture further north in search of their dreams. Some traveled the water systems up the Blanche River to Tomstown by steamboat, challenged the portages to Wendigo Lake (which took a better part of a day) and courageously braved the river with nine portages to "Larder Lake". Some traveled another 25 miles fighting the underbrush and many carry-overs.
The fall of 1906 gold was found on the northeast arm of Larder Lake (Virginiatown) by Dr. Robert Reddick. Word spread quickly setting the stage for a new township (McGarry) and the beginning of a gold rush for this area.
Tom Pearl built a trading post near the narrows of Larder Lake which the locals today, fondly refer to as "Pearl Beach" in his memory.
In 1910, a dentist from Toronto, Dr. George A. MacKay, with the financial aid from his brothers, bought up claims as Tonene Old Indian Mining Company. The ambitious Dr. McKay wooed prospective shareholders from Toronto transporting them in luxurious train coaches. In 1910, a dentist from Toronto, Dr. George A. MacKay, with the financial aid from his brothers, bought up claims as Tonene Old Indian Mining Company. The ambitious Dr. McKay wooed prospective shareholders from Toronto transporting them in luxurious train coaches. He successfully sold many shares that year to enthusiastic investors enabling him to buy even more claims. Included in these claims were two claims that two medical doctors, Louden and Addison along with Hugo Kerr (manager of a Cobalt mine) had owned.
Dr. MacKay was very focused in finding his treasure of gold and with some struggles, coupled with pressure from his stakeholders, by the time the year 1937 rolled around, Chesterville and Kerr Addison mines were in full production attracting people from all over in search of their dreams and forming two economically booming towns Virginiatown and Kearns. Now combined to be the Township of McGarry.
On the shorelines of Larder Lake near Pearl beach, there are four huge, rounded boulders that scientifically speaking are glacial erratics (a piece of rock differing from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests)
Archaeologist Dr. John Pollock claims that Pearl Beach was once home to Native people going as far back as 6,000 B.C. In fact he claims there are fourteen other such sites on Larder Lake. Some say these mysterious boulders are Dolstones or rock alignments used by early Natives as “power snares” to capture spirits to be used against their enemies. Locations such as this are known as “power spots.” These "Dolstones" lead a visual path to the unique Cheminis Mountain where the early Ojibway Shaman would retire at the summit of what they referred to as "Shewmeness" (Mount Cheminis) to fast and meditate.
The Township of McGarry's rugged landscape is surrounded by kettle lakes and boreal forest with an average winter bringing approximately nine feet of snow to the area creating an winter paradise.
We invite snowmobilers to sample the well groomed trail systems in the area and play in the deep snow where you can really challenge your snowmachine!
Every winter the McGarry Volunteer FireFighters Association has a snowmobile poker run where many snowmobilers can unite, meet new friends, catch up with old friends and spend a fantastic day of snowmobiling with family and friends.
Want to go ice fishing? The pike, trout and pickerel are waiting for you! Try your luck on Larder lake, Lake Abitibi, Bear Lake or any of the multiple kettle lakes surrounding the McGarry area.
For the skiing enthusiast, near-by Mount Kanasuta offers 5 km of slopes to challenge you!
As the hot sun melts winter away, the lush boreal forests come alive with bear, moose, deer, partridge, grouse and rabbits attracting hunters, hikers, fishermen and nature lovers everywhere
The fishing season begins with an annual fish derby put on by the Larder/McGarry Lions Club. There is quite a buzz on Larder Lake as fishermen lure the "prize winning" trout, pike and pickerel.
The many kettle lakes are filled with campers and fishermen enjoying the tranquility, warm sun, nature's beauty and their "catch of the day"
It is no wonder that hunters from all over flock to Nothern Ontario's rugged and lush landscape for bear, moose, deer and small game! The Township of McGarry is no exception.
Hikers and Nature Lovers alike enjoy the picturesque backdrops summer provides for the jumping fish, busy beavers, curious small creatures and hungry bears and moose.