One of Eganville’s oldest families has joined the growing list of names that will be remembered on a bronze plaque to be erected on the site of the new boardwalk scheduled to be built this summer on the north shore of the Bonnechere River behind the former Eganville Creamery building.
The descendants of R.G. and Louise Reinke have made a $1,000 contribution to the $220,000 campaign, the estimated cost to build the 300 foot long, 12-foot wide boardwalk as part of a downtown beautification and renewal project. Currently, the fund is at about 60 per cent of the goal. In addition to the boardwalk plans also include a fishing dock on the south side of the river which will be enjoyed by all ages and accessible to all.
The boardwalk/dock project is being undertaken by the Eganville and Area Community Development Group (EACDG), the same organization that will soon start work on phase three of the McRae Lookout Park further downstream on the site of Eganville’s first grist mill built by J.S.L. McRae in 1885.
Don Bishop and Claude Chartrand are chairing the boardwalk/fishing dock committee. Mr. Bishop said one of the ways the group decided to fund the project was to invite older families whose roots run deep in the community to participate by being remembered on a bronze plaque that will list donors in four categories: platinum: $25,000 plus; gold: $10,000 and up; silver $5,000 plus and bronze: $1,000 plus.
In addition, boards are being sold for $50 each and names of individuals, businesses and organizations buying boards will be listed on a sign to be displayed on the property.
Grandson Paul Reinke who now resides in Bath, near Kingston, and reached out to family members about getting their name on the waterfront project.
Mr. Reinke, who continues to have strong feelings for his home community, and visits family members regularly, had originally purchased a board, but when he was asked to get his family together for a bronze sponsorship he embraced the idea and began sending out emails to relatives.
R.G. Reinke was an early industrialist who came to the community from West Prussia in the 1880s at the age of 21. A carpenter by trade, he was engaged to work on the Childerhose woollen mills, one of the village’s chief industries at the time before he became a member of the building and contracting firm of McIntyre, Reinke and Boland. He eventually became sole owner and the business grew into a 35,000 square foot factory. A hardware store was added in 1920 and later sawmill along the river to augment the lumber supply for the factory. The firm became well known in Eastern Ontario.
Paul Reinke moved from Eganville about 30 years ago. He encourages other families to join the growing list of boardwalk supporters.
“I sent out emails to family members and had our sponsorship within two weeks,” he said. “I would encourage all other families to do the same. It’s a great project and it will really beautify Eganville’s waterfront.”
EACDG president Gerald Tracey said the Bonnechere River is a gem that existed long before Eganville was established.
“For many years the river was an integral part of the early day industries that established here, but with the end of the industrial era not much has happened along the river,” he said. “It is one of the community’s most valuable assets and we hope this project, the McRae Park Lookout project and other future projects will gradually give the community a new and vibrant look.”
Information on the project is available by going to the EACDG’s website: www.discovereganville.ca or contacting executive members. More information is available by calling Mr. Tracey at 613-732-0377.