Fred C. GORDON – Brockville Sketch Artist

Frederick Charles Gordon (1856-1924), a native of Cobourg, Ontario, was a young artist who arrived in Brockville about 1887 to teach art at the Brockville Business College. This was a starting job for a budding professional artist who had trained in Paris before returning to Canada.

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Brockville Business College logo -brown- (Gordon)

This College advertisement shows the hand of Art teacher Fred Gordon.

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 cover - Brockville, The City of the Thousand Islands 1888

The above booklet entitled Brockville Illustrated, The City of the Thousand Island, designed by Fred Gordon, was published for the Canada Carriage Co. in 1888.  The complete publication was filled with on-the-spot drawings created by Gordon in the first two years he lived here.

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Title Page 1888 Booklet -brown- (Gordon)This was the title page in which the artist combined his love of hand lettering and illustration.  All the following pages are copied from this booklet.

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BROCKVILLE  BUILDINGS  OF  INTEREST

 
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Court House Square 1887
First Presbyterian Church and the Brockville Court House on Court House Square.
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Old Post Office -brown- (Gordon 1888)
The Dominion Post Office & Customs House Building,
opened in 1885.
 
Fulford Buildings -brown- (Gordon 1888)
The Fulford Buildings, including the earlier structure at the corner, which was the drug store of William M. Fulford in the 1860s. The larger addition on the right was erected by his younger brother George T. Fulford, the proprietor of the Dr. Williams Medicine Co. in about 1886.  The Brockville Business College was renting space on the second floor and Mr. A.C.J. Kaufman had his musical instrument store on the ground floor at the time this sketch was finished in about 1888.
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Comstock Block -brown- (Gordon 1888)
The Comstock Building, erected in 1888
for William H. Comstock, the proprietor of the Comstock Medicine Co.  This building remained here until about 1965 when it was demolished by the family to avoid paying property taxes.
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Two Churches -brown- (Gordon 1888)
On the left, the interior of St. Francis Xavier R.C. Church, opened in 1856, and on the right, St. Peter’s Anglican Church, opened in 1832.

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Recreational Activities of Brockvillians

Picnicing -brown- (Gordon 1888)

Picnicing

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Skating on the River -brown- (Gordon 1888)

Skating

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Sailing Races -brown- (Gordon) 1887
Sail Boat Racing
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Fishing -brown- (Gordon 1888)
Fishing
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Gun Sport -brown- (Gordon 1888)
 Hunting
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Transportation

Armstrong Railway Ferry -brown- (Gordon 1888)

The Armstrong Railway Ferry, from Brockville to Morristown, NY

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Brockville & Westport RR -brown- (Gordon 1888)

Scenes along the Brockville & Westport Railway

Water Tank in Farmersville (now Athens),  the Unionville Station,  and the Newboro Bridge.

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Tunnel & Docks -brown- (Gordon 1888)

The Canadian Pacific Railway steamboat wharf and the Brockville Railway Tunnel.

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SS Corsican + 2 Sailing Skiffs -brown- (Gordon 1888)

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Other Scenes Along the St. Lawrence River

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Brockville Business College -brown- (Fred Gordon)

Fred Gordon’s school, the Brockville Business College upstairs at 2 Court House Ave.

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GORDON, Fred - Highbury 1891 -brown-

The old Highbury Brewery, facing the Swiftwaters Channel, west of Brockville.

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Jones Creek -brown- (Gordon 1887)

On Jones’ Creek, west of Brockville

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GORDON, Fred - Smuggler's Cove 1894 -brown-

Smugglers’ Cove, on the river, west of Brockville

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From the High Rocks -brown- (Gordon 1888)

Fred Gordon sketching from the High Rocks, east of Brockville.

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Hillcrest -brown- (Gordon 1888)

Hillcrest, west of Brockville

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Houses in Town and Outside

Oriental Island -brown- (Gordon 1888)Two Homes on Oriental Island, west of Brockville

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Idlewilde -brown- (Gordon 1888)

77 Hartley St., Brockville

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Fairhaven -brown- (Gordon 1888)

On the River, west of Brockville (now demolished)

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Buell House -brown- (Gordon 1887)

Margaret & William Buell Sr. House, 16, 18 Home St. at Water St. W., demolished in 1974

In spite of the claims of the owners, this was not the first stone house built in Brockville.

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Rockford & Highbury -brown- (Gordon 1887 )

Rockford on the Prescott Road, east of Brockville, near North Augusta Rd.

Highbury at the foot of Elizabeth St., west of Brockville

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GORDON, Fred - sketched himself  -cropped-

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His Later Life after Brockville.

Fred Gordon, left his artistic mark in this way in Brockville, but he was looking to his future and moved to New York City for more adventures.  He enrolled at the Art Students League to pursue his art studies and mix with other young artists.

His art career was established for many years as he worked for the Century Magazine as a staff artist submitting decorative work to that publication for many years.

Subsequently in 19o8, he moved in middle age to Westfield, New Jersey where he established a home studio. He then pursued a free-lance career which involved illustrating books for authors and publishers. Along the way he became involved in the public life of Westfield, serving as Mayor for 5 years.

Frederick C. Gordon lived out his later life in Westfield, dying in 1924 after suffering a sudden heart attack when he was only 68 years old. He had rode his bicycle, as was his daily habit, home from the post office after collecting his mail. He was apparently in good hearth.

click here for

The obituary for Frederick C. Gordon from the Westfield, NJ ‘LEADER’ of 26 March 1924

Advertisements

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