Tag Archives: Brockville

Rare and perhaps unpublished King St. Views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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Railway Photographs taken in Brockville – Part 2

The Brockville & Ottawa Railway

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ca.1865

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This early photograph shows the ‘Renfrew’, one of eleven wood-burning locomotives operated by the Brockville & Ottawa Railway in the 1860s.

 It is standing in front of the first B&O depot built ca.1860, and located on the Brockville waterfront, south of the Brockville Railway Tunnel.

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The Grand Trunk Railway

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ca.1858

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This rare photograph was taken, I believe, in the first years of the operation of the Grand Trunk Railway. It shows the formal garden planted at the new Brockville GTR station grounds. This station was located on the south side of the new line from Montreal to Toronto. The line was completed as far as Brockville in 1855.

In the background you can see two wood-burning locomotives and tenders. The platform is lined with men, women and children and in the garden are two men and two women. The corner of the passenger station shows on the left of this picture and one of the freight offices is in the right background.

A new “Union Station” was built a few years later in 1872 on the north side of the main line GTR tracks to serve passengers of both the Brockville & Ottawa Railway and the Grand Trunk.

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The Railway from Brockville to Westport

(commonly called the B&W)

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ca.1895

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One of the steam engines being run by the Brockville, Westport and Sault Ste. Marie Railway. It is located in this photo at the Brockville waterfront wharf of the CPR near the mouth of Buell’s Creek.

The B&W shared a portion of the west end loop which ran from the station above to the St. Lawrence River where the trans-shipment of passengers and freight was possible.

Photograph from the collection of Library and Archives Canada – PA 164368

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ca. 1910

bw-station-engine

This is one of the B&W trains waiting at the Brockville Station House or Depot of the Brockville, Westport & North-Western Railway, which was located on the south side of Church St., just west of Buell’s Creek.

The wood-frame building, pictured here behind the train, was built in 1890. It was 64 feet long x 38 ft. wide and contained a waiting room, washrooms, agent’s room, brick vault, band baggage and freight rooms on the ground floor. There were six offices for staff on the second floor. The third floor was the caretakers apartment.

Just east of this point, the B&W shared part of the loop line with the Canadian Pacific Railway to travel a short distance to the shore of the St. Lawrence River, where passengers and freight could meet some of the river steam ships.

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Railway Photographs taken in Brockville – Part 1

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The Grand Trunk Railway came to Brockville in 1855 when the main line from Montreal to Toronto was completed and opened as far as Brockville.

Brockville was made a divisional point on the GTR, which established this town as a major transportation site.

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about 1950

railway-facilities-brockville-on-aerial-view-ca1950

An aerial view of the main railway facilities in Brockville. Notable in this photograph are the remains of the large Cossitt Bros. Agricultural Implement Factory on Brock St., and the 90-foot turntable north of the factory buildings. The concrete overpass on William Street remains to be built at this point.

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This view of the rail yards in Brockville is looking east from about William St. toward the engines flanking the turntable.

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A closer view of the 90-foot turntable that was visible in the distance in the photograph above.

Note the eleven numbered engines awaiting their next assignments in the Brockville yards.

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About 1910

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The new Union Railway Station and Depot was built here in 1872 to serve both of the rail lines which were crossing at Brockville. The new station was placed just east of Perth St. on the north side of the Grand Trunk tracks. It is still being used by VIARail for passenger service in Brockville.

 After 1872, the passenger trains of the Brockville & Ottawa Railway which ran north and south between Brockville and Sand Point, near Arnprior, on the Ottawa River used this station in Brockville. Previously the Grand Trunk depot was located on the south side of the tracks, at the head of Buell St. The B&O Railway depot was located in town south of Water St. near to the approach to Blockhouse Island.

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1890s

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This shows five employees trying to look busy in the yard office of the Grand Trunk Railway in the 1890s.

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30 August 1952

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CN  2-6-0 #86 engine, standing at the Brockville Station, ready to take its last regular run of the Westport Mixed train

on the Brockville to Westport line of the former Brockville & Westport Railway.

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Brockville Fire Department Pictures

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All the photographs in this post are from the vast collection of Fire Memorabilia amassed by the late Mervyn McKay.

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Members of the Brockville Hook and Ladder Co. in 1899.

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The Fire Department Hose Reel Team about 1915

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Running the Hose Reel Along King St. E. near Murray St.

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Brockville Fire Department in 1919.   George Gillespie, Chief (front centre), Fred Mathews, Deputy-Chief (front right)

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Fred Mathews, Fire Chief 1920-23

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In this photograph taken in 1920, the Hook & Ladder wagon, the old hose wagon, and the new Republic truck is posed in front of the Perth Street Fire Hall, built in 1910 at the corner of James St. W.

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Fire Chief John Hartley and his fire crew in 1930

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26 November 1949 – Smart’s Block Fire

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At the height of the Smart’s Block fire

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The firemen try to contain the blaze on the evening of November 26, 1949.

 

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Fire Chief Charles J. Shorey, and Deputy-Chief Edward “Bud”Lacasse, Deputy Fire Chief  assess the damage in the morning, while Lieut. Clarence McKay, in the background, trains a hose on a remaining hot spot.

 

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smarts-block-fire-nov-26-1949

The next morning, the aftermath of one of Brockville’s most extensive main street fires.

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1960s

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John F. Marshall, Lieutenant;  Edward “Bud” Lacasse, Deputy Fire Chief; and Arthur C. Keetch, driver, posed on the 1934 Bickle Quad Fire Truck.

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A Long View of the Town of Brockville in 1857

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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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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


Brockville’s Churches on Court House Square

[click on any photograph to enlarge it]

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Wall St. Methodist Church, 5 Wall St., Brockville, ON - taken about 1875

Wall St. Methodist Church, 5 Wall St., Brockville, ON – taken about 1875

Wall St. Methodist Church, 5 Wall St., Brockville, ON - taken about 1910

Wall St. Methodist Church, 5 Wall St., Brockville, ON – taken about 1910

First Presbyterian Church, 10 Church St., Brockville, ON - taken about 1878

First Presbyterian Church, 10 Church St., Brockville, ON – taken about 1878

First Presbyterian Church, 10 Church St., Brockville, ON - taken about 1896

First Presbyterian Church, 10 Church St., Brockville, ON – taken about 1896

George Street Methodist Church, 3 George St., Brockville, ON - taken about 1900

George Street Methodist Church, 3 George St., Brockville, ON – taken about 1900

George Street Methodist Church, 3 George St., Brockville, ON - taken about 1980

George Street Methodist Church, 3 George St., Brockville, ON – taken about 1980

Baptist Church, 1 Pine St., Brockville - oriiginal church building -taken about 1875

Baptist Church, 1 Pine St., Brockville – original church building – taken about 1875

Baptist Tabernacle, 1 Pine St.,Brockville, ON

taken about 1910

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Old Views of Brockville’s King Street

[click on any photograph to enlarge it]

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King St. W., Brockville, ON - looking west from John St - just prior to the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1860

King St. W., Brockville, ON – looking west from John St – just prior to the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1860

King St. W., Brockville, ON - looking west from Broad St - just prior to the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1860

King St. W., Brockville, ON – looking west from Broad St – just prior to the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1860

King St. W., Brockville, ON - looking south-east from roof of Flint's Building at corner of Court House Ave - ca1866

King St. W., Brockville, ON – looking south-east from the roof of the former Flint’s Building at the corner of Court House Ave – ca.1866King Street W., Brockville, ON - looking east from Buell St. - taken about 1868

King Street W., Brockville, ON – looking east from Buell St. – taken about 1866

King Street W., Brockville, Ontario - looking west from W. Market St. - taken about 1869 by George MurrayKing Street W., Brockville, Ontario – looking west from W. Market St. – taken about 1869 by George Murray

King St. W. at market St., Brockville, ON - looking west - ca1894 King St. W. at market St., Brockville, ON – looking west – ca.1894

King Street W. looking east from Court House Ave. - ca. 1915 King Street W., Brockville, ON – looking east from Court House Ave. – ca. 1915

King St. W., Brockville, ON - looking east from st. Andrew St. - ca1935

King St. W., Brockville, ON – looking east from st. Andrew St. – ca.1935

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