Sioux Lookout Genealogy and History Club History Walks
For many summers, during the Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival, The Sioux Lookout Genealogy and History Club has helped residents and visitors to town during the festival reflect back upon the people who helped build this community into the place it is today.
Referencing the Tracks Beside the Water local history book series, as well as interviews with family members, members of The Sioux Lookout Genealogy and History Club have helped share the stories of these outstanding individuals.
The Mascotto Family
Andrew and John Bernard Mascotto were both born in Riverotta, northern Italy. Andrew was born in 1876 and John Bernard in 1883. They came to Canada in the early 1900’s. In 1919 they began work as carpenters at North Pines Mine. Andrew’s wife, Luigia, and their 3 children. John Bernard’s wife Aurelia joined them from Italy. John had one son born in Italy, but he only lived for 3 months. Irma born in 1920 and Elso born in 1925 were born to John and Aurelia in North Pines, but son Lino was born in 1930 in Sioux Lookout.
The brothers Andrew and John moved their families to Sioux when the mine closed in 1927.
Andrew started a construction carpentry business. His eldest son Tony worked for the CNR. Mary married and moved away from Sioux. Younger son John established Mascotto’s Bakery at 54 Queen Street, which operated from 1931-1935 and Mr. Poulin was the baker. The business was sold to Mr. Belluz when John decided to join his brother and brother-in-law in Geraldton where a new mine was opening.
John Bernard bought a house at 39 Queen Street and established a carpentry shop in the basement. He constructed a building at 19 Third Avenue and did cabinet making and boat building there. He developed his ability as a tool maker and made many tools and machines. John was also employed by the CNR at the roundhouse servicing locomotive engines. He built and installed the town “weigh scales” which were on the site of the Oshtugon building on King Street. In the mid 1930’s there was a fire which gutted the shop. John rebuilt it and during the Second World War he produced skis for the RCAF’s Tiger Moth trainer aircraft, under contract with Elliot Bros. of Hudson.
In the 1950’s, John’s older son Elso and younger son, Lino joined their father as cabinet makers. The boys had been assisting their father from an early age. John’s daughter Irma became a nurse and moved to Red Lake.
After John’s sudden death in 1961 at 78-years-old, Elso continued the business which evolved into Mascotto’s Mercury Marine sales and service. Elso met Valerie Thompson of The Pas, Manitoba when she moved to Sioux as an operator for the CN Telegraph. Valerie gathered skills at bookkeeping along the way which was valuable support for the Marine business. They operated a very successful business from which they retired in 1987. They had 3 children. Elso’s love of horses motivated him to collect sleighs and buggies and other equestrian paraphernalia. The whole family shared in the care of the animals. They built a cabin and corral on Sturgeon River Road. Elso was a member of the Sioux Lookout Band and a volunteer fireman for 28 years, retiring as Assistant Fire Chief in 1976. In his retirement, Elso kept busy refurbishing many sleighs and buggies. He built a chuck wagon which is used at Cedar Bay. The original Mascotto’s boat and motor was kept in the family and has provided a source of much entertainment for the grandchildren. Valarie added gardening to her list of enjoyable activities. Elso and Val’s wholehearted support for the Cedar Bay complex over the years is so much appreciated.
Lino joined the RCMP Police Force in 1952. While posted to Halifax, Nova Scotia he met his wife, Valanne and married her in 1957. They had five children. In 1976, after 25 years of service, Lino retired and returned to Sioux Lookout. He renovated the buildings at 18 Third Avenue and 37 Queen Street. The Queen Street building was fully equipped as a bakery and went into operation on August 31, 1977 as the Town House Bakery. In 1979 a delicatessen counter was added and then in 1982 an addition was constructed by A. Durante and son, which housed a 30 seat coffee shop. Lino served on town council and as a Justice of the Peace. He and his wife both loved aircraft and flying and were members of the Sioux Lookout Flying Club.
In subsequent years, as the children of the family have moved away, they still express their love of their ancestral home of Sioux Lookout and the lives they had growing up here. Our community certainly has benefited from their hard work building their lives here and the care for the community they portrayed.