Did you know that area where the Dorset Scenic Tower is was once a farm? The first owner of the land was Charles Barker, who cleared the land from Hwy 35 in the area of the tower entrance up to the top of the hill, and grew a crop of hay. It’s hard to picture that now when you see the land so heavily forested.
Mail was delivered and posted in an interesting mode of travel back in the early days of Dorset. Mail was carried by any of the settlers, who might be going to Baysville and the Baysville Post Office, which was a good 16 or 17 miles away.
They paddled a canoe or rowed a boat in the summer and in winter when the ice was good, and good for skating they would skate for the mail. If not they would walk, or snowshoe in the winter. The mail carrier also brought necessary groceries such as salt, tea, or flour.
ON NOVEMBER 1, 1957, IN LONG REACH, PICTON, ONTARIO, HISTORY WAS MADE.
AT 8:38 A.M THE WORLD RECORD FOR FASTEST MAN ON WATER WAS ABOUT TO BE
BROKEN. THE DRIVER WAS A MAN NAMED ART ASBURY DORSET RESIDENT, AND
THE BOAT THAT WOULD ACCOMPLISH THIS FEAT WAS CALLED MISS SUPERTEST II.
MISS SUPERTEST II WAS NO ORDINARY BOAT. ITS OVERALL LENGTH MEASURED 31
FEET. ITS WIDTH WAS 12 FEET. IT WEIGHED ABOUT 9000 POUNDS. AND THE
ENGINE WAS NO ORDINARY BOAT ENGINE. THE CREATORS OF THIS CRAFT PUT A
DRIVEN SOME FAST THINGS IN HIS LIFE, BUT WAS ABOUT TO GO THE FASTEST HE
HAD EVER GONE. WHEN IT WAS TIME TO GO, ART HIT THE GAS AND BLASTED
ACROSS THE WATER, ACHIEVING A SPEED OF 184.54 MILES PER HOUR!
The photo is of Mrs. Ellerington and Don Payne the boats restorer, last year at Heritage Day here at the Dorset Heritage Museum.Mrs. Ellerington’s husband Bill worked on this boat with a group of men, one being Art Asbury the driver of it at the time, and Don’s father! They worked on it in a work shop located at the Ellerington’s home, which is next door to the museum. Don was very happy the she came over to see this beautifully refurbished hydroplane that her husband and friends had once worked on and raced in the 60’s.
On Heritage Day, July 2, 2016 at the Dorset Heritage Museum the boat in the photo, one of Art’s, will be on display.