Don’t forget Creemore Springs co-founder Russ Thornton
I was interested to read your article in the April 18 issue of The Echo, about the life and passing of John Wiggins, “founder of the Creemore Spring Brewery.”
Actually, he was the co-founder along with his partner Russ Thornton. I was surprised that there was no mention of Mr. Thornton in the article, although there is a good picture of the two of them together, wearing matching tops, on Page 6.
Russ Thornton was an entrepreneur who built up his own business manufacturing and selling fork lift attachments, in the Toronto area. Like Mr. Wiggins, Russ came to know this part of Ontario through his love of skiing. Russ and his wife Edna, along with children Ian and Nancy, owned a weekend chalet at the base of what was then known as Mansfield Skiways, (now Mansfield Ski Club), which is where my wife and I came to know the Thorntons.
About 1975, Mr. Thornton sold his manufacturing business, and purchased a full time home south of Creemore. After getting settled and installing his own, in ground swimming pool, (and helping install mine), he found the need for something to fill his time, so he worked for some time in the Creemore Home Hardware store. It may have been there, or on a ski hill, that he met Mr. Wiggins, but in any case, together they planned, financed, opened, and operated Creemore Springs Brewery.
Unfortunately Russ Thornton passed away, in 1996, at age 72. Though he has been gone for many years, he should not be forgotten.