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About Markdale
   Located approximately two hours north of Toronto and Hamilton, Markdale is a community of 1,400 at the hub of Grey County, Ontario, Canada. The Village of Markdale was incorporated in 1847. Along with the townships of Osprey, Artemesia and Euphrasia, Markdale amalgamated into the Municipality of Grey Highlands in 2000.
  Legend has it Mark Armstrong's lumber mill was the driving force behind the burgeoning community in its early years and after trying on a variety of names, such as "Glenelg Corners" and even "Cornabus", the moniker Markdale stuck, honouring its founding father. Just like surrounding communities, agriculture, lumber and the railroad were what fuelled these settlements in the early years. All things considered, the town and surrounding area have adapted very well, as we blaze the trail headlong into techological challenges of the 21st Century.
    There is no way of gauging if anyone local has viewed the movie since 1958, but back when the film "Wolf Dog" hit theatres, wasn't it wonderful to have the name "Markdale Garage Co." there for all the world to see and enjoy? Hollywood actors Jim Davis and Allison Hayes plying their trade with downtown Markdale as the backdrop brought a tender tear to many an eye. The fact a young Jim Davis filled the tires of that early 50's Ford "woody wagon" at those old gas pumps astounds us. These stars were really here....Many of us were breathless at that first Allison Hayes closeup, as she smouldered in front of the village's main corner. Who among us realized "The OTHER Lone Ranger" was roaming our streets, in the person of actor John Hart. Austin Willis would hit his professional stride in coming years, when his hair went a distinguished gray. Perpetuity will ever recall the scores of local extras who will remain forever young in an air-tight film archive.
    So much of it is like a dream and much of this "dream" is still standing. Visible is the familiar "FOOD" sign at what used to be Hugh Mercer's Groceteria (where the Becker's is now located). Though totally refurbished fifty years later, the firehall where "Dog" and "Thunder" had their historic dog fight still stands. It was the same Shell gas station, in front of the same Church of the Nazarene. It's the same place, but locked in a different age. "Wolf Dog" was made to be a entertainment product, but to many it remains a nearly fifty year-old time capsule of this town's timeless beauty and spirit. In close to 1,000 feet of celluloid, Markdale is frozen in time. As long as films are preserved, may it continue to be so.
     The name "Markdale" didn't just drop away from entertainment circles. In the 1980s and 1990s it became a familiar name to fans of television's "Road to Avonlea", as it was the fictitious neighbouring and rival community for the title hamlet. While no scenes of this Disney/CBC series were ever filmed on location in the village, it is one more thing for Markdale natives, near and far, to be deeply grateful for and proud of.  ~

LOBBY CARDS II (Allison Tribute)
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This alleyway on Main St. N.W. was where Paul Hughes and his pony made their memorable getaway just after "Dog" and Krivak's dog had a fight. It has changed quite a bit since 1957. Currently, the west building is Ken Bustin's Pickle business and the east wall is where Markdale Pharmacy now stands.
In 1957, this structure on Toronto St. N.W. was a feed store that belonged to Fred Peters Sr., but for a few days that August, it was Sheriff Mace's office. This photo was taken some time before the building was demolished to make way for the grocery market that is now Kropf's IGA.
"It couldn't be helped, Paul. Some dogs are just too mean, I guess. Just like some people."
-Ellen Hughes (when Krivak's dog killed Paul's dog Spot)

    It would be logical to assume that Markdale businessman, F.T. Hill stood to gain a lot from the filming of Wolf Dog, as he owned the department store shown in many of the in-town scenes, as well as the Markdale Garage site where the memorable first scenes were filmed. The manager of the Markdale Garage was a gent named Don Wilson, who now lives in the Owen Sound area. At the time "Wolf Dog" was filmed, its believed the gas station portion of the business was affiliated to either BP, or White Rose. Based on the timeline and subsequent research, I can confirm it was a White Rose affiliate.
Mark Armstrong Sr.
The late F.T. Hill
A 1950 Ford "woody", similar to the one pictured below, was depicted passing by Markdale's Fire Hall in the opening scene of Wolf Dog. Later in the movie, the "big dogfight" took place here.
Ellen and Paul Hughes entered the front door of F.T. Hill's Dept store on the N.W. Main Street corner. A scene inside Orchard's Drug Store occurred just west of here.To the left of the building is the alleyway, where another scene was filmed. This structure was demolished in the late 70s and the site was a parking lot, until Markdale Pharmacy was constructed.

   Markdale is part of Ontario's four-season playground, close to skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, beaches and watersports. It is said that Grey and Bruce Counties are the last undiscovered natural treasure in Ontario and Markdale is one of its special gems. It is well served by a community public school, provincial police detachment, regional hospital, an eclectic variety of restaurants, two supermarkets, three national banking outlets, public library, post office, beer and liquor outlets. It Is the home to Chapman's Ice Cream and a host of other fine mass production firms and factories.
Wolf Dog - Time Capsule Of A Bygone Markdale
Toronto Street North in 2004. The Hughes family "woody wagon" ghosted in for reference...
Toronto Street North in this 1957 WOLF DOG still.
Markdale Garage "White Rose" gas station circa 1957
The same site in 2004. Now a mini-plaza, containing the Markdale Standard newspaper offices, at left.

This Main Street venue bore the sign "Putnam County Cattle Association" for the 1957 movie, WOLF DOG. At that time (and for many years thereafter), it housed
I.B. Lucas' Law Offices.
"I'm ready for my closeup now, Mr. Newfield," Allison Hayes appears to say, during the opening moments of this Hollywood picture filmed August 22/57 in downtown Markdale, ON, Canada.

Click here to learn more about the locals who were extras in WOLF DOG
All stories and text copyrighted property of Jeffrey R.P. Wilson - 2005