Ignorance is not always bliss


Kincardine and Ripley have apparently had their share of hot heads over the years.

Last week we ran a story on the new exhibit that opened at the Walker House. On display are paintings of Kincardine’s first dentist, Nelson Gumaer, and his wife Emma.

Following is a short tale of a nasty day in the life of the good dentist.

After the end of the First World War, Gumaer made a trip to Ripley by train to look after his Ripley patients.

When the dentist arrived, he received a rude welcome as the populace started pelting him with eggs. The welcoming committee accused the dentist of flying a German flag from his window.

He was able to get back on the train and return to Kincardine where he was met by another egg-equipped group of rowdies.

Mayor Malcolm was called to the train station to try and mollify the crowd, to no avail. They wouldn’t believe that the doctor had simply flown the American peace flag.

To end the confrontation, Gumaer agreed to march down the main street with the British flag and write a $50 cheque to the Red Cross.

Gumaer started his practice in Kincardine in 1878 so he would be a well-known figure in the area in 1918. What if he had been a stranger?

Rumour was obviously just as rampant 90 years ago as it is today.

The above story came from an old newspaper clipping from the Nov. 21, 1918, Goderich Signal. The story first appeared in the Ripley Express.

Kincardine historian Bill Pace gave the clipping to June Daniel of the Walker House who told me the story Sunday when I ran into her at a Kincardine store.


With another cold weekend and with parts of the country receiving snow, it appears  at times that winter will never end.

And maybe it won’t.

A member of the Kincardine Bulldogs executive said to me Friday, “Only 10 more weeks until the ice goes in.”

Since the NHL playoffs will continue for at least four more weeks, in the Kincardine area we will see, at the most, six weeks without hockey being in the spot light.

No wonder winter seems so long.


Our columnist Ray Canon fell and broke a hip a few weeks ago. His wife Sue reports that as soon as he returns home from rehabilitation, he will resume sending his column.


With talk continuing about bankruptcies at GM and Chrysler, perhaps it’s time to offer a solution. A reader sent me this e-mail about a month ago and I’ve heard it repeated about town. It’s a letter to the president of the U.S.A. and reads as follows:

Patriotic retirement

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force; pay them $1 million severance with the following stipulations:

1)      They leave their jobs. There are 40 million job openings – unemployment is fixed.

2)      They buy new American cars. Forty million cars ordered – auto industry is fixed.

3)      They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – housing crisis is fixed.

All the above and it’s cheaper than the U.S. bailout.


It’s hard to get away from advertising these days and it’s getting even more difficult in Kincardine.

Each year, the municipality hires a student to paint designs on garbage cans that are then placed around town. That’s a good idea and it provides a student with work.

But this year, the municipality wants businesses to pony up $75 each to get their names on one of those garbage cans.

Why is the municipality getting into the advertising business anyway? Surely taxpayers can afford to hire a student to paint the cans..

What’s next, advertising on the side of municipal vehicles and buildings?


Dana and I saw West Side Story in Stratford a couple of weeks ago and young Kolton Stewart had a minor role, but a much bigger one than last year ‘s The Music Man. He’ll be also be appearing in MacBeth this season as Macduff’s son.

Kolton made his debut at Stratford last season.

Kolton, who would be 9 or 10 now, spent his first five years in Kincardine. Before he left town, he was known as the little drummer boy, marching alongside the Kincardine Scottish every Saturday evening.


If you are interested in buying locally produced foods and crafts, you’ll enjoy a booklet that will appear in next week’s Independent. It has ads from a number of producers, many of whom I had no prior knowledge. The booklet should prove handy over the next few months so hang on to it.




Nelson Gumaer DDS

Nelson Gumaer was the longest practicing dentist in North America... throughout the history of the Gumaer Family we have been accused of being German - however the family is French Huguenot blended with Holland Dutch. and Nelson was a Native born Canadian his father migrated from the United States prior to his birth.