Group Photographs by A.C. McIntyre — 1866

26 December 1855 — from an advertisement placed in the Brockville Recorder.

A.C. McIntyre

Next door to Mr. Lothrop’s, Main Street.

Ambrotypes or Positive Pictures on Glass.

“They are not reversed”

This ad could be the earliest indication that Mr. Alexander C. McIntyre had come to Brockville to begin a very successful career in the pioneering field of photography. “Ambrotypes” were the next improvement in the field after “Daguerreotypes”..

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Five gents from Brockville

Five Gents from Brockville

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1866

31 January 1866 — from the Brockville newspaper, the British Central Canadian.

Previous to the adjournment of the County Council, and by invitation of Mr. McIntyre, the members in a body visited his gallery, and having formed in a group, had their photograph taken in first rate style.  We have seen the plates and the likenesses are extremely correct.

14 February 1866 — from the Brockville newspaper, the British Central Canadian.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Group photographs are now all the fashion, and our friend McIntyre is fully prepared to please the public.  His room is admirably fitted up for the purpose and he has lately imported from New York a beautiful architectural design for a background.  His group of the County and City Councils, and that of one of the classes of Victoria Common School are very generally admired.  Competent judges pronounce McIntyre’s photographs to be the best in the province.

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Brockville Town Council 1866

Brockville Town Council — 1866

Sitting, ( high up in background) – William Fitzsimmons, Mayor

Standing, middle row – (left to right)  James Carron, Councillor, West Ward; Charles Stevenson, Chief Police Constable; Thomas Price, Councillor, West Ward.

Sitting, front row – (left to right)  R. Walker Grant, Councillor, West Ward; James J. Henderson, Councillor, Centre Ward; David Row, Councilor, Centre Ward; George S. McClean, Clerk and Treasurer; Christopher Fletcher, Councillor, East Ward; Edmund J. Senkler, Jr., Councillor, East Ward; John Stagg, Jr., Councilor, East Ward.
MissingRobert Fitzsimmons, Councillor, Centre Ward.

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Studends & Teachers of Victoria Common School

Students, teachers and Principal of Victoria Common School — 1866

Boys and girls were taught in separate classes at this time. This is most likely just two of the classes in Victoria Common School on Wall St. They all dressed up for this group shot and walked down to McIntyre’s studio at the corner of Victoria Ave. and King St. In the centre is Mr. William Bigg (P), the principal. He shows up in two pictures here. My guess is that at least two of these young women are the teachers (T).

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Common School Board 1866Staff and Trustees of Common School Board — 1866

(standing, back row) Herbert S. McDonald; William R. Bigg, principal, Victoria School; Christopher Fletcher.
(sitting, front row) James J. Henderson; Robert Kinney, teacher, Victoria School; William McCullough, Chairman of the Board; Thomas Price.

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Non-Com Militia Officers - 1866

Brockville Rifle Co. – Militia Officers & Non-Comms – 1866

During the lead-up to the anticipated invasion of Canada by the American Fenian Brotherhood, troops and officers of the area Militia Companies were assembled and stationed in Brockville during 1866. These were the officers, corporals and sergeants of the Brockville Rifle Company.  The Rifles wore dark green uniforms.

Beginnings of the Brockville Fire Department — 1832-35

Many of the details of this early firefighting history were found in a small minute book of the first Brockville Board of Police which I had access to when it was stored in Brockville City Hall in the 1980s.   Later, this book, along with a collection of other city documents and books, was deposited in the Archives of Ontario in Toronto.

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24 November 1831 — from the Brockville Recorder.

Through the spirited exertions of Mr. Norton and other individuals, means were lately raised, a fire engine purchased, and a fire company formed in the village of Prescott.  Brockville is thus outdone.

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9 April 1832 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Ordered that Alexander Grant be appointed Captain of the Fire Company and Engineer and that he be directed to raise such a company, which shall consist of forty-eight persons, who will be required to provide themselves with a proper fireman’s uniform at their own expense, and that the said Alexander Grant be instructed to report the names of such persons, as he may select to compose such company, to the Board for their approval.

11 April 1832 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Mr. Grant, having been appointed Captain of the Fire Company and Engineer, gave notice to the Board that he would not act.

21 April 1932 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Resolved that it is expedient to provide a suitable place for the erection of an engine house, and that an application be made to Daniel Jones, Esquire,  William Buell, Esquire,  and the Hon. Charles Jones, to ascertain whether they have any ground upon the King’s Highway which they will gratuitously lease or sell, and upon what terms, for the purpose, not exceeding twenty foot square.

12 February 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Ordered that Mr. (Stephen) Richards be requested to proceed to Brattleborough in Vermont, or such other place as he may think proper, and make such arrangements as he shall thin advisable to procure the delivery of a fire engine at this place, for the corporation, at a price not exceeding £ 150, to be paid for on the delivery; and that his expenses will be paid and a reasonable allowance made for his time and trouble.

Stephen Richards, Sr., a native of Burlington, NY (1791-1863) was a young blacksmith who came to the village of Elizabethtown (later Brockville) about 1810.  He met and married Phoebe, the daughter of William Buell, Sr., the first settler in the village.  They had a family of 5 children. Their three boys, William, Stephen and Albert, became lawyers and leaders in the political life of this province. Following the first years of the Police Village founding, Stephen Richards, Sr. served as the official village street surveyor.

4 March 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Mr. Richards, having reported that in pursuance of the order of the Board, passed on the 12 Feb. last, he proceeded to Watertown, and afterwards to Albany and elsewhere, and having examined and procured information from the best sources in his power, on the subject of fire engines, he is of the opinion that the largest of “Rogers’ Patent” engines — one of those designed for 24 men, and discharging 200 gallons of water per minute, would be the most proper and advantageous for the purposes of the corporation.

Resolved, therefore, that Mr. Richards be authorized to write to the manufacturer immediately to order such an engine at the price of  £ 125 to be delivered at Troy in the State of New York.

5 March 1833 — from the Brockville newspaper, the Antidote.

FIRE  COMPANY  MEETING

At a meeting on the 27th ultimo., at David Mair’s Inn, of the members of the newly-formed Fire Company of this town, Captain Grant in the chair, and Mr. Thornhill, secretary, it was …

Resolved  first, that the members present highly approve of the appointment made by the President and Board of Police of the town, of Alexander Grant, Esq., as the senior Captain of the Company.

Second, that the name of the company shall be “The Brockville Volunteer Fire Company”.

Third, that the uniform of the company shall be a coat of scarlet, or bright red, with dark blue cuffs and collars, light blue pantaloons with scarlet stripes, blue belts, and a leather cap with canvas flap and leather peak.

Fourth, that John Bogert, Doctor Edmondson, Dr. McQueen, Ephraim Dunham, Daniel Jones, and Henry Thornhill, be a committee to draw up the by-laws of the company.

Fifth, that the company shall be commanded by four officers, to wit, a senior and junior Captain, and a senior and junior Lieutenant.

The Company then proceeded to elect the junior Captain and Lieutenants, when George Glasford was unanimously elected junior Captain; Doctor Edmondson, senior Lieutenant and John Welsh, junior Lieutenant.

A. Grant, chairman

Henry Thornhill, secretary

A meeting of the company will take place on Friday evening at 7 o’clock at the inn of Mr. D. Mair.

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6 April 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Resolved that tenders be received at the Police Office until Monday 15th of April at 10 o’clock in the afternoon from any person or persons that may be desirous of erecting a framed engine house — having at the same time and plan and specification of the building proposed to be erected.

Alexander Grant was replaced by William Hervey as Captain of the Fire Company.

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Rogers' Patent Fire Engin 1830s

A typical hand-pumped Fire Engine, as made by the John F. Rogers Company of  Waterford, New York.  This was the design known as the “Rogers’ Patent” and was produced in the early 1830s.

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27 April 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

The President, having presented to the Board a plan and specification of the Fire Engine House proposed to be erected by the corporation:

Ordered that the same be enclosed to Mr. Francis Hackett, house carpenter, with a proposal to allow him £ 22 for the completion of the whole work, and that he either accept or reject the same by Saturday the 4th of May next

17 June 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Ordered that the Treasurer be requested to procure a draft on New York, in favour of John F. Rogers & Co. for £ 125 in payment of the fire engine.

20 July 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Francis Hackett submitted to the Board his account for extra work done to the Fire Engine House.

Ordered that the same be allowed to remain before the Board for further consideration.

……………………………

Ordered that the balance of Mr. Francis Hackett’s account for erecting the Fire Engine House be approved, agreeable to his estimate, and that the Clerk give an order upon the Treasurer for the same.

19 October 1833 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Ordered that the Clerk inform Mr. Francis Hackett to complete the Engine House according to estimate, it having been ascertained that the shingles on the rook were not sufficiently laid on.

The Captain of the Fire Company, having made a return of the members of the said company to the Board,

Ordered that the same is approved of by the Board, except that the members of the Board shall not form any of the members of the said company.

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Brockville Map 1833

This map shows the layout of the village of Brockville in 1833.  It is unlikely we will know exactly where the new Fire Engine House was located. I based the map on copies of other survey maps done at the time.

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15 March 1834 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

The account of Mr. Philip Clement for repairing Fire Engine  __?__  amounting to £ 2.7.6 was allowed and an order for the amount was directed to be given upon the Treasurer.

23 July 1834 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

The account of John Gereau (sometimes given as Gero) was presented to the Board and allowed, being for drawing the Engine to the Engine House, 2 different times, it was, therefore, ordered that an order be granted on the Treasurer for the amount, being 2/6 p.

4 August 1834 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Ordered that Christopher Leggo be requested to examine the Fire Engin and cause it to be repaired fit for actual service.

Ordered that the appointment of Alexander Grant, Esquire, as Captain of the Fire Company be rescinded and that David Fairbairn be appointed in his place, and that he be requested to raise such a company to consist of not less than 48 persons, who will be required to provide themselves with a proper fireman’s uniform, and that the said David Fairbairn be instructed to report the names of such person, as may compose such company, to the Board for their approval next Monday morning.

Mr. Fairbairn accepted the office of Captain of the Fire Company and Engineer.

18 August 1834 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

An account was presented to the Board of Police for freight and other charges connected with the forwarding of the Fire Engine to this place, presented on behalf of Bronson & Crocker, by Mr. Hervey, whereupon the Board ordered that the amount of £ 2.18 be allowed, and that an order be given on the Treasurer for that amount.

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1 May 1835 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Alexander Grant was nominated and appointed Captain of the Fire Company.

5 May 1835 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Moved and adopted that Alexander Grant‘s resignation as Street Surveyor be accepted.

Moved and adopted that Stephen Richards be appointed as the Street Surveyor.

8 May 1835 — from the Brockville Board of Police Minutes.

Ordered that Asa W. Graves‘ tender, offering to make 35 buckets at 9 shillings each, be accepted, subject to the inspection of Alexander Grant, Captain of the Fire Company.

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Button & Blake Fire Engine ca.1845

Brockville later acquired more refined Fire Engines for the volunteer Fire Companies. This is a typical hand-pumper made by the Button & Blake Co. of Waterford , NY, successors to the Rogers company. This may have been used around 1845

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Queen fire engine & Revere Hotel Stage Coach

The “Queen” Fire Engine was apparently used in Brockville, before being acquired by a private owner.  It was donated to Upper Canada Village, where it remains today in their collection.

Brockville & Ottawa Railway ………. 1860 Train Schedule

The following details were taken from a notice placed in the Brockville newspaper “The Monitor” on 23 June 1860.

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Brockville & Ottawa Railway Depot

The B&O RR locomotive “Renfrew” standing at the depot on the Brockville waterfront

BROCKVILLE  &  OTTAWA  RAILWAY

Change of Time

On or after Monday, May 5th, and until further notice, trains will run as follows: —

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MAIN LINE

Going South

Leave Almonte at     8:00 am

Leave Carleton Place at     8:30 am

Leave Franktown at     9:15 am

Leave Smith’s Falls at     9:50 am

Leave Irish Creek at     10:25 am

Leave Bellamy’s at     11:20 am

Arriving at Brockville at     12:00 noon

Going North

Leave Brockville at     4:00 pm

Leave Bellamy’s at     4:45 pm

Leave Irish Creek at      5:35 pm

Leave Smith’s Falls at     6:10 pm

Leave Franktown at     6:45 pm

Leave Carleton Place at     7:25 pm

Arrive at Almonte at     7:50 pm

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PERTH BRANCH

Going East

Leave Perth for Smith’s Falls     8:50 am

Leave Perth for Smith’s Falls     5:00 pm

Going West

Leave Smith’s Falls for Perth     10:00 am

Leave Smith’s Falls for Perth     6:05 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Passengers for Montreal and Toronto take the (Grand Trunk Railway) express trains at Brockville, which cross each other at the station at 2:05 pm.

Passengers for Ottawa, taking the train leaving Brockville at 2:05 pm, will connect at Prescott with the Prescott & Ottawa Railway, reaching Ottawa the same evening.

Brockville GTR Depot

The gardens at the Grand Trunk Railway station in Brockville about 1855

A stage leaves Arnprior every morning, and returns in the evening, connecting with the train leaving and arriving at Almonte.  Passengers by this route, from and to the upper Ottawa (valley), reach Montreal and Toronto the same evening; being the only route by which this can be done.

Trains run by Montreal time, which is 8 1/2 minutes faster than Brockville time.

Brockville, May 1st, 1860

Robert Watson

Managing Director,

B. & O. R.R.

An early wood-burning locomotive 1870s

A typical wood-burning locomotive in the 1870s

Brockville, by a visiting Journalist – March 1856

This newspaper article about Brockville was republished 24 April 1856

on the front page of the Brockville Recorder.

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Written by a correspondent of the Toronto Leader.

21 March 1856

Brockville Court House 1872

The Brockville Court House from an engraving based on a photograph by Geo. B. Murray – Canadian Illustrated News 1872..

The Court House and Jail are very justly the pride of the town.  I know of no county buildings in the province that surpass them.  Erected on the highest eminence in the town, they are possessed of much architectural beauty, and the details of the establishment exhibit great judgement.  From the cupola, I obtained a charming prospect of the town and surrounding country.

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Edgar Place, the Matthie House

Edgar Place, the Home of Hannah & William Matthie. William died in 1855.  Their 10-yr-old son, Edgar died in 1857.  At the time of this photograph ca.1890, the owner William J. Christie was standing outside his conservatory. His wife Mary was on the back porch.  Later this became the property of George T. Fulford and he replaced this house with his new home, Fulford Place.

There are several beautiful private residences here, situated at the east end of the town, among which may be mentioned those of Mrs. W. Matthie, Mrs. S. Jones, and Messrs  R.P. Colton, George Morton, and George Crawford, MPP.  These residences overlook the St. Lawrence, are surrounded by fine pleasure grounds, and have conservatories attached to them.

The churches, mercantile establishments, and indeed all the buildings of the town, betoken a liberal spirit.  There are few of those hovels here which are so frequently met with, even in smaller localities.  A Roman Catholic church of large proportions is being constructed of stone, on Church Street, and I understand that the Bank of Montreal will erect during the Summer, a building of the same material for their branch establishment.

The town being very compact, an agitation was commenced a few years since, to consolidate all the Common Schools, and to erect a suitable building in a central position, capable of containing all the scholars of the town.  It was urged that this would give greater facilities for the classification of scholars, and that the elementary and higher branches could thus be taught beneath the same roof, while the school would be essentially a common one.

David Wylie

David Wylie, Editor of the Brockville Recorder

The originators of this liberal movement – Mr. David Wylie and Dr. Thomas Reynolds – at first met with most inveterate opposition; but at length their efforts appear to have been appreciated, for a building upon that plan is now constructed, (at a cost of £ 3,000) and in use, which presents quite a collegiate appearance.  It contains five compartments – two above and two below, for the opposite sexes, and is designed for 400 scholars.  A Catholic Separate School is also in operation, the scholars in attendance numbering about one hundred.

Victoria Common School

Victoria Common School

I visited the extensive stove factory of R.P. Colton, here perhaps the largest in the province.  The moulding room is a large building, 160 x 80 feet, and contains a furnace with a capacity for melting from 15 to 20 tons of metal.  The building used as a warehousing and finishing department, is a four-storey one, and is 100 x 40 feet.

Mr. Colton confines himself exclusively to the manufacture of stoves and mill gearing; and you may form some idea of the extent of his operations in the former branch, when I assure you he turns out annually 4,000 stoves (Brockville Air-Tight), and keeps constantly employed in disposing of them from 20 to 40 pedlars.  The number of operatives employed within his establishment, when in full blast is about 85.  There is hardly a farm house between the Ottawa and St. Lawrence into which his stoves have not found their way.

The foundry is situated on the margin of the river, and the largest class of steamers receive and discharge their cargoes beneath its walls.

East end factories 1874 map

The 3 large factories on the east end of Water St.

The establishment of William McCullough is also deserving of notice.  He turns out annually about 6,000 sets of hames, 700 dozen of scythe snaths, 100 doz. Grain cradles, and about 300 doz. grain shovels, which he wholesales very readily to the hardware merchants of Toronto, Hamilton and London.

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(I omitted a long paragraph here on “Reciprocity”)

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The Brockville and Ottawa Railway is now in course of construction. The object in building this railway is to afford to the large and fertile country in the rear, access at all seasons to the markets of the United States, as well as to the various sections of our own province.

– population served is nearly 100,000.
– square timber trade.
– sawn lumber to the U.S.

Brockville aided construction with £ 100,000, Elizabethtown £ 50,000, and Lanark and Renfrew £ 200,000.  They hold the first lien on the railroad.

At that time, a preliminary contract was contemplated with Mr. Moore, railway contractor for completion of the road. The former contractors, Sykes, Debergue & Co. Were unable to carry out the contract they entered into.

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Willson House 1852

William H. Willson’s new hotel, the Willson House was opened 30 November 1849

5 – 13 King St. W., cor. Market Sq.

While here, I stay at Willson’s Hotel, which justly enjoys a high reputation.  Mr William H. Willson, proprietor, and Mr. John Brennan, assistant, are certainly most successful in making the house a real home to the traveller.

The sleeping apartments and drawing rooms are elegantly furnished, and the chief of the culinary department is certainly mistress of her profession, for I have fared sumptuously every day upon the most appetizing viands.  From its contiguity to the railway station and the steamboat landing, it is a most desirable stopping place to those in pursuit of pleasure or business.

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I copied this article out by hand in July 1977, from a copy of the Recorder  dated April 24th, 1856. Near the end, some of the trade description began to bore this scribe, and was left out. Other than that, this is generally complete and accurate.  You may notice that the practice of the day was to use long involved sentences, strung together by commas and “ands”.  These I have retained, but I have broken up some of the long paragraphs where appropriate for this format.

The Cholera Epidemic of 1832

by H. Richards Morgan

The following article appeared in the Recorder & Times on January 29, 1932, one hundred years after the terrifying events of 1832 had long been forgotten by the people of this area. This is Just one of hundreds of stories which appeared in the R&T during the 1930s and ’40s written by the editor, H.R.”Dick” Morgan.

Dick Morgan

Dick Morgan, the writer of this article, while Editor of the Recorder & Times

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If this year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of Brockville as a municipality, it is also the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of cholera (politely called “ship-fever”) which raged along the St. Lawrence with the arrival of immigrants from abroad, and which claimed its victims by the hundreds, both from amongst these newcomers and from the established population. In view of the steps which were taken by the community of Brockville to deal with this menace to its health, this year may properly rank as the centenary of the establishment of public health measures in the settlement.

Early in the year 1832, the Canadian newspapers began to publish alarming reports concerning the prevalence of Asiatic cholera on the Continent of Europe and in the British Isles. With the opening of the season of navigation, these reports were followed by information concerning serious outbreaks on the lower St. Lawrence. Gradually the dread disease made its ascent of that stream until by the month of June, its presence was felt in Prescott, Brockville and Kingston.

The authorities of these and other centres took prompt steps to meet the menace which rapidly took the form of an epidemic. So great was the fear of the disease, that on June 19, when there were only a few cases at Prescott, it was stated that business in that community was at a standstill, and the “inhabitants of the village wear the sombre appearance of the Judgment Day.”  Families began to move from Prescott to the country, crews of vessels deserted their boats, and the magistrates ordered the erection of cholera-sheds on Drummond Island, where cases might be treated.

At about the same time the newly-formed Board of Police of Brockville held a meeting, and passed a number of ordinances relating to the outbreak. One of these provided that every boat arrived from Lower Canada, and having on board either immigrants or the baggage belonging to immigrants, should be instantly removed to “the island in the East Ward of the town, or to some other place out of the limits of the town.”  On June 19 it was reported that there were three cases of cholera in the town, one of whom had died.

The outbreak continuing, a Board of Health was formed in the community and cholera-sheds were opened on (“Blockhouse”) island. Here they were tended by some of the physicians of the community, among them a young Scot, Dr. Robert Gilmour, who had been appointed secretary of the Board. Dr. Gilmour contracted the disease and, in spite of the best efforts of his associates, became one of its victims.  (This may not have been the case, according to actual reports written in 1832 at the time of his death. -DMG)  His grave may still be seen in an out-of-the-way corner of the Brockville cemetery. The epidemic also began to affect the established population. On June 28, it was reported that the wife of “Smith, the bell-man,” had died after an illness of only seven hours. Another woman was removed to the hospital on the island and died within 24 hours.

Various cures for the disease began to make their appearance. One of these, submitted by Hiram Norton, who had been member of Parliament for Grenville and who conducted the first stage line between Prescott and Toronto, was as follows: “two tablespoonfuls of charcoal (maple is best); two ditto of hog’s lard; mix together and give two tablespoonfuls when the patient is attacked. Repeat every 15 minutes. Should the patient not be able to retain it on the stomach, melt a teacup full of hog’s lard and pour it down him. When the limbs are cramped, bathe them with warm lye. When the stomach is cramped, foment it with hot brandy. When the patient is recovering, give him soup and chocolate. This has cured every one that has taken it.”

More conventional and less drastic treatment was, however, prescribed by the Board of Health, which recommended the use of the following medicines: laudanum, oil of peppermint, sulphuric ether and spirits of lavender.

By the close of the month of June, Prescott had had 69 cases and 27 deaths; Kingston 147 cases and 47 deaths; St. Regis, 34 cases and 15 deaths; while Brockville had escaped with only eight cases, of which three had proved fatal. By the middle of July, a marked decrease in the number of cases was reported, although patients continued to be taken to the hospital on the island, where some of them passed away.

Four new cases occurred during the week ended on August 9, with three deaths. At that time there had been 21 cases in Brockville, with eleven deaths. Gibson Gilmour, ancestor of a well-known Brockville family, died after only a few hours’ illness. Cases were also reported in Elizabethtown and at Delta. Other deaths were reported. Gradually, however, the outbreak subsided, calm was restored and Brockville and other St. Lawrence Valley communities went about their business in a normal way.

It seems quite clear that but for the prompt measures that were taken by the Board of Health which was established at that time, the mortality in Brockville would have been much greater. The regulations which were adopted and enforced were undoubtedly the means of saving many lives, just as regulations introduced at later periods of epidemic have proved advantageous. And the medical profession, then as upon so many other occasions, carried on its work in complete disregard of the dangers which its members ran, anxious only to bring relief to the suffering, and to save them from a miserable death in the wretched sheds that bore the name of “hospitals.”

The people of Brockville of the present day may regard the epidemic of a century ago with satisfaction in that the possibility of the recurrence of such a visitation is almost too remote to be considered. Nowadays, the health of all people entering the Dominion is carefully scrutinized and special care is taken to guard against contamination from sections of the world where diseases may be raging, and the well-organized and well-equipped health service of this country possesses facilities for readily dealing with any outbreak that may take place.

We should not, however, allow the one hundredth anniversary of this melancholy visitation to pass without giving some thought to the plight in which so many of the immigrants of 1832 found themselves ‒ the ocean separating them from their friends and accustomed surroundings, men, women, and children lying in pain in rude sheds that served as hospitals, and finally welcoming death as a relief from their sufferings, their bodies to be placed in unmarked graves, generally in the form of pits, the whereabouts of which are to this day unknown.

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Hospital Island 1833A map of ‘Hospital Island’ which lay just off-shore from the village of Brockville. It was used during the cholera outbreak here as a place of refuge and isolation from the population of the village, for boat passengers wishing to disembark at Brockville.  A hospital and other buildings were built there in 1832. For a short time after, the island was known as ‘Hospital Island’.

We know it now as Blockhouse Island after the log blockhouse put up on the island in 1839.

It was expanded in size in about 1860 by the Brockville & Ottawa Railway who built warehouses, repair shops and a domed roundhouse there.

For those interested, there are also relevant details  on the Local History TIMELINE  on this site, going from 12 June 1832 to 20 July 1832

Brockvillians from the Atlas of the Dominion of Canada, 1875

1879 View of Brockville

A view of Brockville from the east – ca.1879

Business Cards of Patrons in the Town of Brockville

1875

BANK OF MONTREAL,  J. N. Travers, manager.

Archer BAKER, secretary and treasurer, B. & O. and C. C. Railways.

BELL, & McEWAN, cabinet maker & furniture dealers, Main Street.

J. D. Buell

Mayor Jacob D. Buell

J. D. BUELL, mayor, barrister, attorney-at-law, solicitor in chancery, notary public, etc.

William COATES, watchmaker and jeweller, dealer in organs, sewing machines, etc., 93 Main St.

A. G. COLE, Dominion Photography Gallery, wholesale and retail dealer in pictures, frames, fancy goods, sewing machines, etc., Main St.

William H. Comstock

William H. Comstock

Wm. Henry COMSTOCK, proprietor of Judson’s Mountain Herb Pills, Morse’s Indian Root Pills, Carlton’s Condition Powders, etc., McKenzie’s Dead Shot Worm Candy.

Alex. COWAN, manager of the Brockville Chemical and Superphosphate Co.

John CRAWFORD, postmaster, Brockville.

Evans L. HAMILTON, B.A., M.D., Headmaster, Brockville High School.

Christopher FLETCHER, dealer in hardware, bar iron, saddlery and groceries, King St.

Christopher F. FraserChristopher F. Fraser

FRASER & RICHARDS, barristers, attorneys-at-law, &c. Hon. C. F. Fraser, A. E. Richards.

A. J. GARRY, grocer, etc.

T. GILMOUR & CO., grocers & produce dealers, King St.

G. R. GRIFFIN, manufacturer and dealer in hats, caps & furs, Main St.

J. J. HANNAN, wholesale dealer in butter, cheese, pork, flour, grain, seed, etc., Perth & King Sts.

T. J. B. HARDING, chemist & druggist, also exchange broker, collections made on all parts of Canada and the U.S., 126 Main Street

D. F. HAYES, Brockville

HOWE & MARSTON, proprietors, Revere House (late Campbell House)

James JESSUP, clerk of the peace, Court House

William Hamilton JONES, barrister and attorney-at-law, solicitor in chancery, notary public, conveyancer, etc.

F. E. KAUFMAN, music store and music school, Main Street

MANHARD & BOOTH, wholesale confectioners, fruit & oyster dealers, 94 King St.

Neil McCARNEY, proprietor of St. Lawrence Hall, cor. Buell and Church Streets

W. McCULLOUGH & SON, manufacturers of scythes, snaths, hames, saddles, etc.

McDonald Herbert S, 1906

Judge Herbert S. McDonald

Herbert S. McDONALD, judge, County Court, barrister and attorney-at-law, solicitor in chancery, notary public, conveyancer, etc.

A. G. McCRADY, tanner and general dealer in leather, hides and skins

Alex. McINTYRE, first class work in every branch of photography. Court House Avenue

MOORE & WRIGHT, dealers in staple and fancy dry goods. Main Street

James MOORE, Main St.

G. B. MURRAY,photographer & dealer in fancy goods, frames, &c., King St.

John MURRAYMontreal Telegraph Co.

Samuel REYNOLDS, Jr., clerk, County Court, Court House

William SHERWOOD, barrister at law, &c.

SHEPHERD & KYLE, Heman Shepherd and James Kyle. wholesale & retail dealers in dry goods, groceries, crockery, glassware etc. Main Street

E. J. SENKLER,barrister and attorney, crown attorney

SMART & SHEPHERD, Brockville

James SMART, hardware & stove founder. Gourley Street

A. W. STARR, King St.

Rev. Francis R. TANE, Rector.

Harry E. VAUX, M.D., physician, surgeon and coroner.

R. & B. R. WOODS, manufacturers of all kinds of domestic cigars, and dealers in tobacconists’ fancy goods.  Main St.

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King St W ca1885

King St. West, looking east – ca.1895

The Brockville Railway Tunnel

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The Laying of the Foundation Stone

for the Brockville Railway Tunnel

September 1854

Copied from the original newspaper article in the Brockville Recorder of 21 September 1854.

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The Tunnel

The second important event of the week was that connected with laying the foundation stone of the Brockville Tunnel. This great event took place on Saturday, when the town was well filled by a great number of visitors from the country.

As the Free Masons had been requested to take charge of this important ceremony, according to ancient custom, a number of brethren from Perth and other places were in

attendance, with banners and other regalia. Invitations had also been sent to the Mayor and Corporation, the Ministers of the town, the members of the Bar, the Brockville Lodge of Oddfellows, the Sons of Temperance, the Knights of Jericho, and the Firemen; while the Brockville Amateur Band, like a band of noble fellows, headed by their leader, Mr. Gilbert, came forth gratuitously to cheer the march of the procession with their enlivening strains, and made the welkin ring again with “The Merry Masons. ”

At a little after twelve o’clock, the procession formed on the Court House Square, in the following order, No. 2 Fire Company taking the lead in their neat uniform, under the command of Capt. Amos Abbott; Fire Company No.1, we are sorry to say, having declined to take part in the proceedings, although several of the members joined themselves to other bodies in the procession.

After the Grand Marshall had his arrangements completed, the procession started in the following order:

Grand Marshall, Hiram Fulford,

Queen Fire Company, No.2,

The Knights of Jericho,

The Sons of Temperance,

The Bar and Medical Faculty,

The Clergymen of all Denominations,

The Mayor and Town Council,

Independent Order of Oddfellows, juniors walking first,

The Masonic Lodges, according to rank and seniority, juniors first,

The Band,

Two Tylers with Drawn Swords,

Brethren not members of any Lodge, two and two,

Brethren of the Lodge, two and two, juniors going first,

Architect and Builder, with plans,

Contractors,

Directors of the Railroad,

Cornucopia with corn, borne by a Master, supported by two Stewards,

Silver Vessels with corn and wine, borne by two Masters,

Grand Director of Ceremonies, Dr. Ashton of Bath,

Grand Superintendent of Works, with plate to be deposited in the stone,

Sword Bearers,

Deputy Grand Marshal,

Grand Secretary, with Book of Constitution,

Grand Register, with his bag,

Grand Treasurer, bearing box containing coin, records, &c. &c. , to be deposited in the stone,

Visitors of Distinction, two and two

The Corinthian Light, by the Master of a Lodge,

The J. G. Warden with plumb rule,

Steward    –    Banner   –    Steward

The Doric Light, by the Master of a Lodge,

The S. G. Warden with Level,

The J. G. Deacon,

Steward,

Grand Chaplain, with Holy Bible,

Steward,

Deputy Grand Master with Square, William B. Simpson

The Ionic Light, borne by the Master of a Lodge,

Brother of Eminence, bearing a Mallet,

Steward   –   Standard    –   Steward

Grand Sword Bearer,

Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Adiel Sherwood,

The Senior Grand Deacon,

Two Grand Stewards,

Grand Tyler.

The procession walked along Church Street to Perth St.   down Perth St. to the Main St.   along Main Street to Park Street   down Park Street to Water Street, and along Water Street to the site of the Tunnel where the foundation stone was to be laid.

Along the whole line of Procession the streets were filled with gay and happy people, but the scene which met the eye on arriving at what will be the mouth of the Tunnel, was of the most interesting nature. The banks of earth thrown up on each side of the opening were crowded by a dense mass of ladies and gentlemen   all eager to witness the solemn Masonic ceremonies connected with laying the foundation stone. As these ceremonies, however, took place in a spot where those engaged in the Holy Work could not be seen, the masses were unable to witness the performance.

When the acting Grand Master, Adiel Sherwood, Esq., reached the spot, he was met by the contractors, John and David Booth, Esq., to whom the various officers who were to take part in the ceremony were introduced. The Grand Chaplain, the Rev. William Smart, then offered up an impressive prayer, asking God’s blessing on the work, and desiring that the workmen employed in constructing the Tunnel might be guarded from hurt either in life or limb.

The acting Deputy Grand Master, William B. Simpson, Esq., then read a list of the various documents to be deposited in the stone   among which were a parchment stating by whom the stone was laid, and for what purpose, with the names of the Masonic officers officiating, and those of the Committee of Management; a copy of the Act of Incorporation of the Railway Company; another parchment containing the date of organization and the names of the present officers of the Oddfellows Lodge; also a copy of the Recorder and one of the Monitor, also several coins, and a plate bearing the following inscription, being laid over the whole:

Chief Corner Stone of the Brockville and Ottawa R.R. Tunnel, in the Town of Brockville, was laid with due Masonic Honours, by Acting Deputy Grand Master, Adiel Sherwood, this 16th day of September, A.D. 1854, in the year of Masonry, 5854.

These articles, being placed in a tin box, were then deposited in a cavity beneath the Stone; the stone was then lowered into its position, when the Level, the Square and Plumb Rule were applied to it, and the Corn, the Wine, and the Oil poured upon it, the Master of the Ceremonies, Dr. Ashton, of Bath, repeating after each pouring, the appropriate Masonic prayer, the brethren responding, “So mote it be.”

Mr. Sherwood then took the mall and gave the Stone three knocks, invoking while doing so, the blessing of the Grand Architect of the Universe, to which the brethren again responded   “So mote it be.”

The stone having been laid, the bank struck up God Save the Queen, after which Lieut. Kincaid brought the Artillery Ordinance into play and fired a Salute of fifteen rounds. The Rev. William Smart, in consequence of the illness of Mr. Sherwood, who unfortunately was compelled to retire as soon as the stone was laid, addressed the assembly as follows:

(The speech Itself Is omitted from this copy. It is a long, and rambling effort and would require almost four pages to reproduce it here.)

After Mr. Smart concluded, three cheers were given for the Queen; three for Mr. Sykes; three for the Tunnel; three for the Sheriff; and three for Mr. Smart An invitation was then given to all persons who joined in the procession to retire to Mr. Willson’s in order to partake of a dejeuner.

Having been requested by the Railway Directors to act as a steward on the occasion, the writer was prevented from taking notes, consequently our readers must be content with a few random recollections of what occurred at the Hotel.

When we entered the room, we were more than astonished at the appearance of all things around. Mr.Willson, it is well known, never does things by halves. When he puts his best foot foremost, people generally know what the result is likely to be, and in all his undertakings of this nature, he is well and ably sustained by Mr.Brennan. On the present occasion, everything was prepared in the most superb, yet substantial style, and when we state that about 250 persons partook of the good things provided, some idea may be formed of the extent of the preparations required for as large an assembly of able men with good appetites. The only regret felt by Willson was that after the first company was satisfied, sufficient time was not given for properly loading the tables with a second supply, consequently the articles for the second company had to be sent up in the order of Brockville lampposts  – one here and one there – without regularity.

The Mayor (John Crawford) presided for some time, after which Ormond Jones, Esq., took the chair. The first toast proposed was given by the Mayor. It was “Mr. Sykes, and good health to him. This toast was rapturously received, and to which Mr. Sykes appropriately replied in a few brief sentences. On the conclusion of his speech, he gave The health of Sheriff Sherwood,” and regretted that from indisposition the worthy Sheriff had been forced to retire so soon to his home.

The Mayor then gave “The Masons and Oddfellows,” Dr. Thomas Reynolds, the Provincial Grand Master, replying for the Oddfellows, and William B. Simpson, Esq., Acting Deputy Master, returning thanks on behalf of the Free and Accepted Masons.

Many other toasts were given, but we were unable to note them from the arduous duties the writer was compelled to perform as a steward. Suffice it to say   the proceedings terminated about five o’clock p.m., in the most harmonious manner, not one ,jarring or angry word having escaped a single person present.

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In the evening we had the pleasure of attending another very interesting party at Willson’s. This was a dinner given to the workmen employed on the tunnel by the contractors   Messrs. John and David Booth. At this party there were upwards of thirty, the chair being occupied by Mr. John Booth.

If the public wish to know the character of an employer, he will best gain his object by talking with the employed. The Messrs. Booth are strangers to Canada, yet they have recognized the building of a very important __?__and character they bore elsewhere is, therefore, of some importance to the community. Being present on the occasion referred to, we derived some knowledge of the estimation in which the Messrs. Booth are held by their workmen, many of whom were employed by them in England, and have, at the invitation of their employers, left “Old England on the lee” in order to try their fortunes “in this here Canada.”

One of the workmen, Mr. George Scott, a very intelligent man, and a really good speaker, toasted the health of the Messrs. Booth. In doing this, he laid down in a clear manner, how important it was for employers and employed to understand each other. Like those around him, he said he was a son of toil, and as such it was his duty, as it was the duty of each of them, to render a day’s labour for a fair day’s wages. Their present employers were men whom they know, and knowing could trust, and he hoped they would excercise the same justice towards their workmen as they had ever done. The toast was then done amid great applause.

Mr. Booth returned thanks and stated that many of them had left their wives and families behind them, he thought they ought in their rejoicings to remember them. He gave a statement in accordance with the spirit of that remark, which was replied with __?__ three and one more.

Mr. Scott then proposed “The Press” concluding it with the name of Mr. Wylie. In doing he passed a few excellent remarks on its __?__ power. Mr. Wylie returned thanks, and gave Mr. Scott, and the sons of toil,” to which Mr. Scott responded.

After enjoying themselves for an hour or so in the greatest harmony, the party separated, and so ended the public proceedings connected with laying the Foundation Stone of the Brockville Tunnel.

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Brockville Railway Tunnel

Brockville Railway Tunnel – ca. 1895

J.W. Mann Manufacturing Co. of Brockville

from the Brockville Recorder, 23 September 1890

A Well-Merited Notice

Speaking of the display made by the J.W. Mann Mfg. Co. of this town at the Toronto Exhibition, the Globe says:

“The exhibit of the J.W. Mann Manufacturing Co. has occupied, during the Exhibition, a stand in the most conspicuous part of the Agricultural Hall, as was consistent with the popularity and excellence of their manufacture —

The Daisy Spring Tooth Harrow is well known among the farmers of Canada as a favourite agricultural implement during the past eleven years.  Thousands of these machines have been sold in Ontario.

This year, the firm has placed on the market, a new spring tooth cultivator which has no equal in its class.  It is called the Giant Steel Frame Cultivator, and is made of iron and steel throughout, except the tongue and wheels.

Giant Cultivator

J.W. Mann’s Giant Cultivator

The desirable feature of this machine is that it has but one leaver, is placed where the driver can use it with the least possible exertion, whether seated on the cultivator or walking behind it.

This one lever enables the driver to control the entire magazine, both in raising and lowering the teeth into the ground if necessary  A large number of orders have been given for the machine.”

Industrial History: Mr. Dana’s Tan-Works

15 November 1849 — a story from the Brockville Recorder & Advertiser:

OUR  MANUFACTURERS

Mr. Dana’s Tan-Works

In 1830, Mr. Beecher, of Herkimer County, U.S., engaged Mr. Dana (Alonzo B. Dana) as foreman of the tan-works now occupied by Mr. Isaac Beecher of this town, and up till 1833 the work continued under the superintendence of Mr. Dana.  In 1833, Mr. Dana and Mr. Beecher of Brockville, entered into partnership for a term of seven years, and under their joint management the work of manufacturing upper and harness leathers progressed rapidly.

The term of partnership having expired, Mr. Dana took possession of the premises a little further up the river than the site of Mr. Beecher’s and commenced business on his own account in 1840.  Previous to that time little or no sole leather was manufactured here, and Mr. Dana fitted up his new establishment with the necessary apparatus for the manufacture of this article.

Although Mr. Dana does not carry on the tanning business to the extent the works are capable of, yet between it and the shoe manufacture he employs from 16 to 18 hands in the various departments of his trade.

At present, however, he is preparing to carry into various alterations, connected with the tannery, which when completed, will enable him to enter with vigor, as he intends doing, into the business.

When the alterations contemplated are carried out, Mr. Dana intends employing an additional number of workmen, everyone of whom must be considered as adding to the prosperity of the town.

(further paragraphs continue on leather and its types — “Spanish” being imported because it has been removed with care after slaughtering.)

Dana's Tannery 2009

The Tannery of Alonzo B. Dana – built in 1840

15 Jessie St., Brockville, ON

1951 – Arena Women’s Committee

Between 1937 and 1951, the youth of Brockville and the organized Hockey teams were without a covered or artificial ice arena. The previous 23-year-old all-wood arena on the west side of Gilmore St. had suffered a sudden and suspicious fire, which destroyed it on January 17, 1937. The fire department found it engulfed in flames before they could do anything, and in 2 hours it was completely destroyed. The fire was blamed on an arsonist whose string of local fires later included the old Opera House (now the Arts Centre).

After many years of natural ice outdoor skating and a lengthy world war, efforts were started in 1945 by volunteer committees to work toward building a new ice rink for the town. After two failed groups gave up the task, the town council and alderman Jack Regua set to work again late in 1947. After involving numerous individuals, including the Women’s Division pictured here, the Ways & Means Committee managed to raise over $150,000, which was augmented by $60,000 from the tax rolls. In April 1950, Mayor Fred Reynolds turned the first sod, and the Pyramid Construction Co. started work of the new Rotary Memorial Civic Centre, located on the same site.  It was later opened with a official ceremony on February 25th, 1951.

Women’s Division Committee

25 February 1951

Photo of Women's Committee

Back Row (from left):
Marjorie Bogart,   Margaret McLean,   Hilda? (Mrs. Alfred) MacDonald,   Peggy Reid,   Jean McLean,   Eileen Moorehouse,   Mrs. Cecil Robinson,   Edna? (Mrs. Mac) Johnson,  and   Jean? (Mrs. Bob) Graham.

  Front Row (from left):
Laura Winford,   Noreen Kelly,   Nellie Kelly,   Mina Glover,   Rena Miller,   Esme Pyke,   Evelyn Davison,   Kathleen Cook,  and   Theresa Aikens.