TOWNSHIP OF SABLES-SPANISH RIVERS
Massey, Walford and Webbwood
Massey is a picturesque community situated at the mouth of the Sables River where it empties into the Spanish River. Samueal de Champlain opened the area to Europeans making their way to the New World. A number of settlers reached this area via Fort LaCloche(the primary fur trading post in the Lake Huron district for almost a 100 years).
Intially farmers and loggers were drawn to the area due to the abundance of forests and fertile soils. At the height of the logging boom, there were seven lumber companies operating in the area. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed to Sault Ste Marie in the mid 1800s, the settlers were no longer solely dependant on the river for transportation. James Henry Massey (A thought to be civil engineer working for CPR fell in love with the beautiful and rugged contryside and decided to stay and make his home Massey.
The local farming community saw a need to support good farming practices in a friendly, yet competitive environment and the first Massey Fall Fair was held in 1906 as a result. Over the years, the Fair has grown to be the largest argricultural fair in Northern Ontario, with approximately 15,000 attending each year.
Walford is located 11 kilometers east of spanish. Pioneers began to settle in the Walford area around 1879. Many settlers came by way of Manitoulin Island. The found the area rich with fertile soils and the added bonus of working for nearby logging camps during the winter months. Walford is named after Albert George Walford, their first postmaster.
Webbwood is located 16 kilometers east of Massey. The area was settled by Andrew Webb in 1883. CPR engineers would stop in the settlement to load some of Mr. Webb's wood for their trainengine. On may 16, 1906 the village became the Corporation of the Towm of Webbwood by authority of an Order in Council.
Cananda's first female mayor was elected in Webbwood in 1936. Mrs. Barbara Hanley served for eight consecutive terms, making her the Longest serving Mayor of Webbwood.