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Long, Fred: Magician to Mayor

Magician to Mayor

by Fred Long

Frank Long - MagicianFrank Long - MagicianFrank Long, who was born in Kinmount but lived the early part of his life in Peterborough, had a hankering for magic. When he was in his 20’s he had moved to Massachusetts and was making a modest living performing in magic shows in the town of Lawrence.

One night he met a man at one of his shows. This gentleman raved about Frank’s performance. He said he worked in a local candy factory, but admitted he would prefer a life in show business in the role of a magician. He convinced Frank to teach him the mystique of magic in return for teaching Frank the art of candy-making. This was something that Frank had really wanted to learn. The rest is a story of a successful businessman and later politician.

Frank was anxious to return to Canada and take up being a candy maker. In 1909 he started up a restaurant and confectionery store in Campbellford where he was soon considered to be a much respected shopkeeper in the small town. He was considered a restauranteur ahead of his time. He made his own brand of ice cream. He was the first business in the area to sell soft ice cream, and the first to have air conditioning. In fact, the business lasted under the Long name until 1974. Frank had passed away in 1955, but his wife, Violet , and their son Francis carried on the traditions.

In the early days of the depression, Frank Long decided to try his hand at politics. He became the mayor of Campbellford in 1933 and held that position until 1945.

As a final note, Frank Long still had a mild interest in magic shows, and performed for a Sunday school group at a country church just a couple of months before he died.