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Rare and perhaps unpublished King St. Views

This posting is devoted to a few terrific photographs that very few people may have seen before. They have turned up at various times and I have been fortunate enough to have been able to copy them for use sometime. Perhaps this is a good time.

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ca. 1868

King St W, Brockville, ON - ca1868

One of the earliest street scenes taken in Brockville, perhaps in the late 1860s.   The photographer was Alexander C. McIntyre, who for may years was the pre-eminent photographer in Brockville.   His “International Gallery” was located at the corner of King St. and Market St.   This shot is looking east from the Court House Ave. intersection.   The photographer’s studio was located on the second and third floor of the Manuel-Fullerton Building (built about 1845), now the location of the National Rental-Purchase Centre at 2 King St. W.   Patients who visit Dr. John Arnott have sat in the area where A.C. McIntyre had his studio and gallery.

This photograph has captured all the busy activity of Brockville’s main street, showing shoppers and wagons.   The dirt road, a mud obstacle during the rainy season is skirted by wooden sidewalks and lighted by gas lamps, both commonplace features of any town.   Some of the visible buildings on both sides of the street might be found today.   Most notable is the bell tower of Victoria Hall, now the home of our City Hall.   The pictograph sign of the big black boot marks the location of the boot and shoe store of Robert Lipsett at 124 Main St.

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ca. 1865

Willson-House-1860s

From the same period, but giving a closer view of the intersection of King & Market Square.   The new feature of this end of town was the Victoria Hall, built in the years 1862-64, to the designs of Kingston architect, Henry H. Horsey.   In the centre of the picture is the Willson House hotel ,which was first opened in November 1849 by William H. Willson.   Between 1868 and 1873 the hotel as known as the Campbell House while owned by John L. Campbell who was previously a hotelkeeper in Prescott.   Many people will remember this building as the Revere Hotel, until it suffered a mysterious and disastrous fire on November 6, 1974.   The smaller stone buildings on the right were built probably in the 1820s and ’30s, but were replaced over 80 years ago.

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ca. 1890

King St. W north side ca1886

Several years had passed since the previous photographs were taken. Here is the same block on the north side of King St. W. on a summer day (note the awnings and noon time shadows) in the 1890s.   The new granolithic sidewalks are now constructed of modern concrete and the tall wooden poles have arrived on the main street to carry the latest in modern electrical wiring.   The first impressive building on the left is located exactly where the former Woolworth’s Store is now located.   This was the Merrill Building built in the 188os for Augustus H. Merrill, who operated a book and job printing business upstairs.   From there eastward, most of these buildings are still existing, with the exception of today’s one-storey gift emporium Dream Weaver, and the third floor addition on the Manuel-Fullerton Building. The first intersection, which is today’s Victoria Ave. was previously known as Market St. The first sloping-roofed building pictured in the middle was built for liquor merchant, George K. Houston, about 1869, and now houses Boboli Café. The sign on the next building indicates the dry goods business of O’Donahoe Bros.

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ca. 1900

King St. north side 1890s

The same block was photographed about 10 years later during the winter. Look at the evidence for this: the snow on the road, horses pulling sleighs, and pig and chicken carcasses hanging and laying outdoors. The first store, in the Merrill Building, is that of Heman Shepherd, a dealer in dry goods. Next door was the butcher business of Thomas Burns. Then, by noting their sign, Alexander and William G. Baird have taken over the dry goods business previously carried on by the O’Donahoe Brothers.

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May 25, 1892

Edwin P. Comstock Funeral May 25. 1892

This photograph was taken on the day of Edwin P. Comstock’s funeral and shows the south side of King St. W. as it looked in 1892.   Edwin was the son and heir of William H. Comstock, one of Brockville’s patent medicine business owners, and died when only 26 years old, while in the midst of a promising career. In the far background, beyond Victoria Hall, you can see the 3-storey round corner brick Weatherhead Building. On this side of the Revere House hotel are the oldest small stores for many years owned by the Richards family. The stripped barber pole is bound to get attention as are the over-signage on George E. McGlade’s CPR Telegraph and steamboat ticket office. The last store visible on the right is that of tobacconist Frank “Ike” Ritchie, who for some reason hung more than one sign with the spelling “Ritchey” or “Ritchey’s”.

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A Long View of the Town of Brockville in 1857

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view-of-brockville-from-eastons-1853

1857

One day in the summer of 1857, an unknown photographer set out to take a panoramic photograph of the Town of Brockville. He climbed to the highest point of George and Isabella Easton’s new house, also known as Beauvoir, just east of North Augusta Road (now at 41 Cochrane Dr.). We have attempted to point out a few of the buildings which can be identified.

Source: The Brockville Museum

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Breakwall Construction on Blockhouse Island

ca. 1910


breakwall-blockhouse-island-ca1910-looking-south

The two photographs you see here were taken about the same time. The views are easy enough to identify, but, otherwise, the date is currently unknown. Each picture has a gentleman in a dark overcoat. The form work for holding the concrete is still in place on part of the new wall but at different stages of completion.



[click on any photograph to enlarge it]


breakwall-blockhouse-island-ca1910-looking-west

Aside from the details in the foreground, this photograph is interesting for the details in the background. The majority of the dark buildings would be the complex known as the James Smart Manufacturing Company. Also visible about the middle is a yacht that looks like the “Magedoma” owned by the Fulford Family.


Source: These photographs turned up as a couple of small snapshots in a box of old pictures in the house at 35 Garden St and 24 Pine St. for many years the home of the late Dr. Jack W. McDougall and his wife Edna. This was also the home of physician Dr. Charles M.B. Cornell and afterwards of his daughter Geraldine and son-in-law Dr. Hezekiah A. Clark who was a dentist and a provincial Member of Parliament. Thanks again to the McDougall family for the use of these pictures.

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Pictures of old Brockville Industrial Factories

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[click on any photograph to enlarge it]

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Bowie & Co.

Bowie & Co., Brewers and Malsters

[view taken from Water St., looking south east]

Water St. E. [south side] from Bethune St. to Park St. [now demolished, and the site of the Executive Condominium]

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Laing Produce & Storage Co. Ltd.

Laing Produce & Storage Co. Ltd.

[aerial view taken from over river, looking north]

Manufacturers of “Betty” Brand Condensed Milk and “Dorthy” Brand Evaporated Milk, and “Golden Glow” Creamery Butter [1929]

39-41 Water St. E. [south side] from Bethune to Park St. [now demolished, and the site of the Executive Condominium]

A more complete story on this factory can be found by following this link on our sister site, Brockville History Album

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General Milk Products of Canada Ltd.

General Milk Products of Canada Ltd.

[view taken looking north]

Manufacturers of Butter, Milk Powders, Condensed and Evaporated Milk, etc. [1956]

Pearl St. E., cor. of North Augusta Rd.

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Canada Carriage Company

Canada Carriage Co.

1879 – 1930

[view looking north-east from rail line, taken about 1900, before the 1905 fire]

Carriage and Sleigh Manufacturers

Park St., just north of the Grand Trunk Rail Line [now demolished, and the site of the Brockville Legion and youth softball grounds]

This engraving shows the new and expanded Canada Carriage Co. buildings that were built after the destructive fire of January 4, 1905.

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Phillips Cables Ltd.

Eugene F. Philips Electrical Works Ltd.

[aerial view, looking north-west, taken about 1940]

Manufactures of copper rod and insulated wires,wires and cables

King St. W. at the city limits [just recently demolished, 2008]

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1000 Islands Mineral Water Co.

1000 Islands Mineral Water Co.

[view looking north-east, taken in 1970s, before being demolished]

58 Brock St. [north side] at head of Buell St. [now a city park]

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Union Hat Works

Union Hat Works

[view looking south-west from Park St., taken about 1905]

Park St. [west side], just south of Grand Trunk Rail line

In 1902 an existing enterprise, known as the Union Hat Works of St. John’s. Quebec [now known as St. Jean} a small city located south of Montreal on the Richelieu River, approached the Town of Brockville. They offered to relocate their factory to Brockville. The reasons for their re-location was said to be, to get nearer to their customers in Ontario, along with their need for larger facilities to expand.

Brockville Town Council were very interested in welcoming a new source of employment and soon entered into negotiations with the three principle shareholders, J.C. Saulnier, A. Decelles, and Charles J. Altman. A bonusing deal was eventually arrived at with those proposing the relocation of the Union Hat Works to Brockville.

It was necessary to go to the rate-paying citizens with a referendum to approve a contract which involved the town providing a free piece of land from three possible sites. The $19,000 bonus aid would have to be raised by selling debentures. The value of the completed project would be secured with a mortgage for $20,000 in favour of the town. The factory business owners in turn promised to build a 3-storey brick main building, 100 feet long by 45 feet wide, and a wood-frame one-storey side wing to the west, 75 feet long by 35 feet wide at their own expense.

The owners also pledged to build these buildings and to install suitable machinery to the valuable of at least $20,000. When the building was completed, the town would make the first payment of $5,000. Following that, when the placement of the suitable required machinery was completed, a further payment of $7,500 would be paid to the owners. The company could not raise any money by a mortgage on the property. One year after the placing of the equipment a payment of $500 would be made.

The company would not be required to pay any property taxes for the next ten years, commencing in 1903. In turn, the company pledged to employ at least 100 workers, and to pay out to them at least $30,000 in wages per year.

The town agreed to complete the bonus on equal amounts of $1,500 per year for four years as long as the Hat Works continued in business and continued to hire local workers.

The Bonusing By-law was presented for a vote on July 14, 1902 and received the approval of the voters.

The ideal piece of industrial land on Park St. just south of the GTR main line was handed over for the construction of the new hat factory.

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Wolthausen Hat Corporation Ltd.

Wolthausen Hat Corporation Ltd.

[view looking west from Park St.]

Hat Manufacturers

Park St [west side], just south of Grand Trunk Rail line

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Stetson Hat Co.

Stetson Hat Co.

[aerial view looking south]

Hamilton St to Park St., just south of the Canadian National Rail line [demolished in 1973]

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Buell Family Pictures

[click on any photograph to enlarge it]

William Buell, Jr.

(1792-1862)

as drawn by Frederick Lock around 1842

William Buell, Jr.

(1792-1862)

Upper Canada Provincial Politician and Newspaper Publisher of the “Recorder”

Captain Jacob D. Buell – 1866

(1827-1894)

Commanding Officer of the Brockville Infantry Company militia

Jacob D. Buell

Jacob D. Buell – ca.1880

(1827-1894)

Lawyer, Mayor of Brockville, Member of Provincial Parliament

William S. Buell - 1892

William S. Buell – 1892

b. 1868

Lt.-Col. William S. Buell

Mayor of Brockville, C.B.E.

Commanding Officer of the Brockville Rifles