KILLALOE – The infamous Killaloe Sunrise BeaverTail has returned home.
On May 12, BeaverTails founders Grant and Pam Hooker were in Killaloe with four surprise announcements.
An emotional Grant stood at Killaloe Station Take Out as he reminisced on how BeaverTails was born.
On a Sunday afternoon in August 1971, a van full of six family members arrived in downtown Killaloe. Sitting across from the Canada Post Office, the youngsters studied a map, trying to figure out if they had in fact arrived in Killaloe.
The family consisted of Grant, Pam, their children Lisa and Nick, and Pam’s sister Lani Harbrecht and brother-in-law Lee Lafont.
“We were a group and we wanted to leave the city,” Grant recalled. “Turn back on city life and values of society we grew up in.”
They came from Mississauga, where Lee had an apartment. The family heard from friends that Killaloe had cheap land. When they arrived, they didn’t know what to expect.
“It was certainly different from Mississauga,” Grant said.
But they decided to give it a try and moved to a 90 acre woodlot in 1973. Grant and Lee took a job at the Barry’s Bay wastewater plant during the winter months, where they learned about construction.
The two men decided to buy some old log barns and managed to construct their first house, where Lee and Lani remain today.
Word spread about the two and they picked up more and more construction work. They were introduced to locals like Edgar Getz and Garnet Kranz, who welcomed them to the community with open arms.
In their spare time, Grant and Pam would get together with friends and recreate a fried pastry dish that Grant’s German-Canadian grandmother used to make.
The couple also helped plan the first successful Killaloe Craft Fair in 1976.
“It was a hoot,” Grant said. “At the third fair, we decided to serve what my grandmother made for us when we were growing up.”
It was the first time BeaverTails were sold commercially.
“People really enjoyed them and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting people,” he said.
The next summer, the couple decided to serve BeaverTails at other fairs.
“But this gypsy life was not fun,” he admitted.
Get your May 14, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.