SIR HARRY OAKES
The name of Sir Harry Oakes is a familiar one in Niagara Falls. He was a philanthropist who contributed to many charities and worthy institutions and his name is perpetuated in the many public works which he made possible. Oakes Garden Theatre, Oakes Drive, Oak Hall, and Oakes Park all honour this dynamic individual who left a profound mark on our city in the short time that he was a resident.
Harry Oakes was born on December 23, 1874 to William Pitt Oakes and Edith Nancy Lewis, in Sangerville, Maine. During his childhood, his family moved to Foxcroft, Maine where Harry attended Foxcroft Academy with his brother, Louis. He came to Canada as a prospector and mining engineer in 1911 and discovered the Lakeshore Mine near Kirkland Lake, Ontario, in 1912. Although he experienced many difficulties in securing the financing to mine his find, he eventually uncovered one of the largest gold deposits in Canada. Soon, Harry Oakes, and everyone else involved in the Lakeshore Mine, were very wealthy. He married Eunice Maclntyre on June 30, 1923, settled in Niagara Falls sometime in the early 1920's, and became a Canadian citizen in 1924.
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