Mount Nemo Memories

The quarry was first opened in 1953 by Mr. William King.

Michael Balzer Sr., my Grandpa, was one of the first or maybe the first gravel truck out of the gates.

Christmas was exciting because the quarry would light up a 50 ft. pine tree with house sized coloured light bulbs. The whole neighbourhood knoew it was Christmas when they lit that tree.

In the summertime every kid would meet at the quarry gates after it closed after the day. Then we would bike ride to someone’s house and play hide and seek until dark. It was great because there was no traffic. Also, the quarry ws closed on weekends so we had #2 Side Road to ourselves.

After my father passed away in 1984, I remember the quarry and James Watson (Tac) who was also a gravel truck driver, they had our driveway paved as a gift for my sister who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. The employees and truck drivers were all very well known and very respectful of our neighbourhood and the kids who played there.

My Grandparents, Michael and Violet Balzer raised 10 kids at 2473 #2 Side Road, the house east of the quarry gates. My parents, William White and Margaret Balzer-White bought an acre of property from my grandparents and built our house from scratch with their own two hands. 2479 #2 Side Road, second house east of the quarry gates.

We moved into it in1965.

Our neighbours on the other side were Clarence and Eleanor Hamilton who had 5 kids. Clarence was also a gravel truck driver as were two of their boys.

Mt. Nemo Restaurant was the truck stop/diner where everyone would catch up with the neighbourhood.

Snow days all the kids would meet there for hot chocolate, Saturday morning breakfasts, etc. I worked there for many summers as a server for the wonderful owner Rosie Gazvoda, her kids Joey and Vickie, Marie and Tony Cesar. Both were great families. Tuesday nights the bicyclers would come in for ice tea.

Rosie Gazvoda Dolar passed away in 2020 age 80 years.

Tony and Marie Cesar passed away quite a few years ago.

You could always find George and Betty Coulson in the restaurant greeting everyone with jokes. George was then named Mayor of Mt. Nemo.

I have lots of memories of Mt. Nemo but here are a few that really spring to mind.

I picked raspberries for Bud and Lou Readman on Mt. Nemo Cres.

Riding horses at the Draper’s barn.

Bailing hay for Mr. “Van” ….farm is now the Bluffs.

Skating on Worrall’s pond on Mt. Nemo Cres.

Worrall’s farm was between the Cres. And Guelph Line. They also had a tunnel built under Guelph Line so the horses could access the fields by the quarry to graze. The Worrall’s also sold real estate. The tunnel is still there. As kids we would all go to the tunnel and stand back while Mr. Worrall called his horses home for the night. It was a really exciting stampede.

At the time I was growing up the B.P. Station on the corner of Mr. Nemo Cres. And Guelph Line was owned by Alfred Retz. The Retz family owned the little white house that is no longer there.

When Guelph Line expanded through the Worrall farm, the Retz’s built a new station on Guelph Line. It was called Mt. Nemo Sales and Service. It was a Petro Canada station and my brother, William White Jr. and I took turns pumping gas on Saturdays and after school. Every Labour Day weekend, Al Retz and family would host a huge barbeque and dance for all the neighbours to show appreciation for their being such great neighbours.

Everyone in Mt Nemo was invited and it was always an exciting time before going back to school. Adults, kids, trucker, etc.

I remember catching chickens for Mr. John Dillane on Cedar Springs Rd.

Tobogganing on the hills by the quarry.

I worked at Burlington Springs golf course for the Bunkowsky family.

I remember walking to John and Doreen Coulson’s to catch the bus with Ann Coulson. Also, walking up to the crescent to catch the bus with Alan, roger Gallant, Albert and Debbie Wimmer’s. Albert Wimmer is now the wonderful vet at Limestone animal clinic on Guelph Line.

The Tebrakes owned Mount Nemo Garden Centre was always a busy place in the summer.
Growing up our family church was Nelson United Church on Hwy. #5

My father William White and John Nicholson (of Lowville) organized many baseball picnics at Lowville called Day in the Park. That day the kids would get ribbons, trophies, etc. My father William White was a plumber by trade and he donated his time to do the plumbing in the new concession booth by the main diamond.

William White, Herb Hall and John Nicholson were a major part of Lowville baseball, coaching and directing the baseball leagues.

I remember Halloween nights when my Mom would push my sister’s wheelchair around Mount Nemo with all the neighbourhood kids in tow trick or treating. One night through the snow.

I remember Reg and Joan Coulson hitching up their horses and wagon to take all the Mount Nemo kids to the Lowville Winter Carnival. All the city kids would be in awe of us. We thought we were so special.

The families that I remember in Mount Nemo were:

  • Coulson
  • Haaf
  • Readman
  • Romanicki
  • Retz
  • Bunkowski
  • Miller
  • Wimmer
  • Dillane
  • Gallant
  • Sanderson
  • Gazvoda
  • Cesar
  • Tebrake
  • Cooke
  • Watson
  • Kay
  • Jansen
  • Gunn
  • William
  • Hamilton
  • Percival
  • Sutton
  • Lacroix

Contributing Author: Karren Violet White-Copeland