The Baileys of Drummond Island

Drummond Island was settled by Daniel Murray Seaman and family in 1853. In 1880, George Warren Bailey and family came to Drummond and soon the two families were united and became part of the history of Drummond Island.

In 1999, Jill Lowe Brumwell (a Bailey descendent) wrote a series of articles about the Bailey family of Drummond Island and these were published in a local newspaper, The Evening News. An index to the entire series of eight articles is here.

The Bailey Story: Installment Eight - Sunday, November 14, 1999

Drummond Island floored with green and roofed with blue

By Jill Lowe Brumwell
For The Evening News

Drummond Island - On the north shore of Lake Huron a maze of island extends from the mainland for miles, masses of rocks whose geological history takes us back to the era in which our molten globe was first changing to a solid state. Through this region there were lofty mountain ranges, thrust up by internal forces, but ages beyond comprehension have worn them down to the hills and tablelands of today. Though there is a maze of islands they are all different and one island is named Drummond. This is the island George Warren and Cornelia Edgerton chose to make their home and raise their large family. The year was 1880 and they arrived with six children. Eight more were to follow.

Clifford Allard Bailey was born in the family home on Drummond Island on July 2, 1892. He was the twelfth child of George Warren and Cornelia Edgerton Bailey who left their home in Wisconsin to lumber on Drummond Island in 1880. Their first child, Guy, who died at the age of 3, is buried at Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Their second child, a girl named Minnie, was 10 when she arrived on Drummond Island and died at the age of 16, six years before Clifford was born.

Clifford was born into a large, boisterous family. His brother, Earle was 3, sister Ethel 5, Blaine 8, Alda was 10, Blanche 11, Jessie 13, Marshall 15, Warren was 17, and Alton (Ben) 19; the last four were teenagers. One wonders what it was like to be a teenager then.

He lived in the large Bailey home in the settlement. The kitchen was Clifford's favorite room. It was here where fragrant cooking odors mingled with the scent of snapping wood fires in the big, black kitchen range. The oven door was a welcome rest for cold feet or to warm a young child. The oven was also utilized, not only for baking the family bread, meats, pastry, and puddings, but to heat bricks, which were wrapped in a towel or in newspapers and taken to bed on a cold winter's night.

The Bailey kitchen was, like most kitchens in that era, a multi-purpose room.

Clifford and his younger brother, Frank, were only two years apart and were pals as well as competitors. They were always in the middle of one mischievous prank or another. Clifford had learned at an early age, when caught and punishment eminent, to bellow and bawl before he was hurt. He found he didn't get hit quite as hard.

Clifford and Frank had homemade bobsleds. The hill going down to the water near the Seaman Store (H&H) was where all this activity took place. The hill was built up and iced and the run went out onto the frozen bay. There were several schools on the island and the children from other schools were invited to bring their bobsleds and compete on the hill with the kids from the settlement.

"Dydine" was the nickname by which Clifford was known. He liked to drive the horses and brother Earle told of sleeping with him Dydine drove horses all night and Earle hardly got any sleep. Dydine, being the middle son between Earle and Frank, got bossed by the elder and had to cater to the younger. However, being of an independent nature managed to hold his own.

One task was driving "Old Tom" back and forth from the house to the mill. Tom, really didn't need a driver; he was quite capable of making the trip by himself - but he was slow; especially for a couple of hungry boys coming home at lunch or dinner time. Tom stood patiently under the sawdust chute, hitched to the rustic dump cart, until the noon or five o'clock mill whistle blew, then he left, regardless of whether the sawdust was still flowing down the chute or not - and you'd better be aboard. Tom then plodded slowly through the stone quarry and into the village if left at this own gate.

The boys, however, had learned of his pet hate, and that was to have sawdust thrown on his back. There was always a plentiful supply of this and the temptation was overpowering.

When the Bailey children walked to school they never walked together but strung out, one behind the other, the fasted walker arriving first.

Clifford had a wooly sleigh dog named Prince. One could usually count on the ferry being frozen in its berth by New Year's and remaining there until well after the beginning of spring. Then everyone was on their own if they wanted or needed to leave the island. The mailman was the oracle for the best and safest route. He also provided many modes of covering the obstacle course.

A two-seated horse-drawn cutter, complete with fur robes, foot warmers, and long bearskin coats was a familiar sight. When Clifford Bailey, grew up, he carried the mail for quite a few years. He was an intrepid sailor in his small, open, gas boat, and often made the run when the ferry was unable to.

In between seasons, a rowboat, filled with mail and other small freight, was pulled on the ice to open water, launched and rowed to the edge of the ice, pulled out an dragged to shore.

Another improvisation, Clifford made for winter travel, was a Model T Ford touring car with runners replacing the front wheels and some sort of tracks on the back wheels.

Clifford Allard Bailey (1892-1981) married Beatrice Avery in Sault Ste. Marie on October 11, 1915. Their children were Wilda Merl, Myrtice Averil, Marshall Avery, Cornelia Alice, Norman, Alda Cora, Fredrick Allard, Earl (Pete) and Frank Allen.

Wilda married Jewell LaMere. Their children are Beatrice, Mytice, Erna, and Cleo. Myrtice married Neil Maddock and children are Bernice, Jeffery, Neil, Marie. Marshall married Naomi Landreville and their children are Cornelia, Marshall Allen, Carol, and James.

Cornelia died at 15, Norm married Betty Ann Anderson and their children are Jo Ann, Richard, Jane, Darleen, an dWayne. Alda married Ray Cook. Their children are Linda, Alice, and Lowell.

Fred married Audrey Clever and their children are Fredrick Allard II, Edwin, Chris, Marleen, and Gary.

Earl (Pete) married Donna Mae Socia. Their children are Russel, Louis, and Ronald.

Frank married Maxine Robertson and their children are Helen, Diane, Brenda, Frank Allen II, and Jack.