Mustard Plasters and Handcars


Wilberforce, in 1922, became home to the first Red Cross Outpost Hospital in Ontario. It was here in this somewhat isolated northern rural village in the Haliburton Highlands, only a short distance from southeastern Algonquin Park, that Gertrude LeRoy, newly graduated as a nurse and with a certificate in public health nursing, began her career.

This is Gertrude’s story, her trials and tribulations, her joys and her successes in her 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week role. This is also the story of a unique community of people who, though faced with the realities of economic hardships during the Depression years, emerge strenghtened by the sense of fellowship and generosity.

Through the eyes of this Red Cross outpost nurse comes a lovingly nostalgic look at our days of yesteryear: the horse and cutter, the one-room school, and the railways whose schedules responded to the needs of people.

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