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Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

The EVENTS in and around Welland

This is where you will find interesting stories of
various EVENTS in and around Welland.
Currently we have a lot of stories about
businesses and their owners in the 1800s and 1900s.

FIFTY YEARS AGO

[Welland Tribune, 22 October 1897]

This is the way it was bound to look
When grandfather had his ”pleter took.”
These were the shadows cast before
The coming of Conjurer Daguerre
And his art; like a girl in a pinafore
Some day to bloom to a goddess fair.
Men certainly were not as black, we know
As they pictured them, 50 years ago.

SUICIDE OF A HORSE AT THE FALLS

[Welland Tribune, 30 July 1897]

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., July 25- Hundreds of people visiting her today witnessed what seemed to have been the deliberate suicide of a fine looking chestnut colored horse, which swam out into the rapids and over the Horseshoe Falls. The incident occurred about 5 o’clock this afternoon.

The horse had been out in a field not far from Port Day, where the Schoelkopf canal starts from the river, and had been fastened by a long rope to prevent it from wandering away. Shortly before 5 o’clock the horse wandered on the railroad tracks and across them, the rope being long enough to allow this, and then a passing train cut the rope and freed the animal. It immediately began running out toward Port Day, crossing on to the new loop drive of the reservation. Then to the surprise of everyone the animal leaped into the river and swan deliberately out and away from the shore.

WALKED OVER SHALLOWS

Many saw the horse and followed it excitedly. He continued his course, occasionally walking over it, and swimming in the deeper portions of the river.

He never stopped a moment, but steadily pursued his way toward the Canadian shore, passing the head of Goat island and reaching a point nearly half way between there and the Canadian side of Goat island.

When this distance had been covered the animal was seen to turn and face the rapids just as they broke from the upper river, and then he began his journey downstream, toward the Horseshoe Falls.

TOSSED LIKE AN EGG SHELL

At first the horse kept his balance fairly well, but the turbulent waters soon told and the unfortunate beast was tossed about like an egg shell. Now and then his body would be seen passing clearly up in view on some rock or boulder, and then it would be swallowed up in the spray of the foaming rapids whenever he was seen.

Life was visible as he struggled and tried to get on his feet. When half way down the rapids, and nearing the brink of the falls, the animal began to show signs of exhaustion and his struggles were feebler, so that by the time the body swept over the falls it was apparently motionless and probably lifeless. Many tried to see the remains below the falls, but could not after they passed over the brink.

CASE OF SUICIDE

The actions of the horse are considered remarkable and almost unexplainable. He was owned by an Italian baker in the tunnel district and was regarded as pretty steady sort of an animal, and his death was taken by many as a suicide pure and simple.

GRIMSBY PARK NOTES

[Welland Tribune, 30 July 1897]

After this week the Toronto boat will make daily trips.

A large influx of visitors is expected during the first week of August.

This would be a happy land for Clayt. Page. The electric light is extinguished at 10.30 each night.

Rev. James Mooney was succeeded last Sunday by Rev. R.J. Elliot, who delivered two very able sermons.

The park dairyman is well named as a hot-weather dispenser of the lacteal fluid. His cards read, “J. Frost.”

The manager of the merry-go-round will not go the Yukon as long as the picnics last. He’s got a better thing here.

A lad from Beamsville was struck by one of the swings last week and the doctor had to put several stitches in his lip.

The crop of raspberries in this section is enormous, and large, fresh-picked berries are retailed in the park at 5c per box.

Birds, squirrels and chipmunks have freedom of the park at all times, and in the early morning are out in full force.

The portly and genial head of the general store is Mr. Cavers of St. Davids, who comes here yearly owing to “delicate” health.

Mr. Homan, the model caretaker of the grounds, has a kind word and a kind act for everybody. He is one of the park veterans.

Miss Ryckman, Mr. Ryckman (Hamilton) and Mr. Jackson (park) have added much to the pleasure of the week’s services with solos.

A charming solo, “Teach me to Live,” was sung with impressive effect at Sunday night’s services. We did not learn the name of the singer.

Wheels, wheels and wheels! Wheels everywhere. Firstclass wheels can be rented on the grounds at 15c an hour, or lower rates by the day or week.

Joseph Digby, formerly of the Kirby house, Brantford, is the affable and popular manager of the Lakeview this season, and it is unnecessary to say that guests thoroughly enjoy this fine house under his experienced supervision.

It would be a good financial move to reduce the price of row boats-except perhaps on excursion days, when the demand is heavy. From 25 to 35 c an hour is too high for an everyday price.

Rev. B. Fay Mills was on board for a lecture last evening on “The Social Peril.” An intimate friend of the lecturer says, “He couldn’t be commonplace if he tried; He’s a wonder.”

The band of the 13th battalion will be here again on Tuesday next-Ireland’s day. The Saturday following (Aug. 7) will be Scotland’s day, when the 48th Highlander regimental band, kilties and all, will have the floor.

On Sundays the Hamilton & Grimsby electric railway carries passengers at half fare, which gives parkites a run to the Ambitious city and back for 35c- a forty mile ride through a beautiful section of the “garden of Canada.”

At the hotel and on the grounds one is constantly greeting old friends. The Methodists of Niagara Falls town and village owned the park on Tuesday. It was a happy gathering such as Niagara Falls puts up every time, but the rain spoiled the afternoon sports.

Mrs. Harrison, formerly of Dunnville, the talented soloist, was in the audience at the Temple on Sunday night. Mrs. Harrison has perfected her musical studies in the old world and returns to us with a gilt-edged voice.

The tariff of admission to the grounds is hardly fair to short-term guests. For instance: Weekly tickets for the last two weeks in July cost 65c and 80c respectively- a total of $1.45-while the season tickets of two months (which include the “big August program”) are only $1.50. The tariff would stand revision in that respect.

The deluge of rain on Monday and Tuesday did incalculable damage to the grain and fruit crops hereabout. The park is almost surrounded with fruit, one shipper having sent 640 crates of raspberries to Montreal in one shipment this week-in a refrigerator car. It was impossible to secure pickers for the enormous crop, and the rains have covered the ground with the dead-ripe fruit.

President Phelps is an expert disciplinarian. It is appositive pleasure to hear him in an occasional ‘scold.” If he gives the adult proportion a “gentle hint” on sanitary or other necessary matters, he generally winds up with proclaiming his subjects the best people he ever met. The children are bribed into extra good behavior with a lavish distribution of popcorn at the president’s cottage.

Few people have an idea what commodious hotels there are within the park. The Lakeview and Park houses contain one hundred and thirty-four rooms, many of which are large double rooms, and the Park house has had as many as one hundred and seventy-five guests at one time. Both houses are thoroughly lighted with electricity, the plant having been placed by the enterprising proprietor, J.D. Strawn, whose lease of these hotels has, we believe, some four years yet to run.

The very old Nick seemed to possess the limelight apparata last week. Both Mr. Reavely and Mr.Yeigh exhibited high-class views of various lands, celebrated buildings and prominent men and women-but Mr. Reavely’s machine kicked vigorously and finally the light went out altogether. Mr. Yeigh’s light was completely extinguished also, but finally came forward and did nobly. Mr. Yeigh declared that fifteen grey hairs had been added to his scalp, and that if the machine “cut up” like that, another night he would flee from the grounds.

Citizens of the park are proud of the squirrels that chatter and play about the grounds, and the little red fellows are very tame. On Sunday morning early two young scamps got into the grounds and with a noiseless Flobert rifle made sad havoc in squirreldom. Just as the early risers in our cottage were astir they say the russet-colored fellow that had played in front of the door all week fell bleeding to the ground, and the young sportsman (?) crushed the squirrel’s life out under his heel. If Constable Tufford had been with in hail, the Sunday morning poacher would have fared badly,

The scene at the Temple on Saturday night was indeed a brilliant one. As the boys of the noble 13th Batt. band filed through the building a sea of white handkerchiefs waved a cordial welcome, and cheers filled the great auditorium. With the red-coated lads and their shining instruments as a central figure, and the bright costumes of the unbonneted ladies        and their escorts, the electric-lighted amphitheatre presented a sight most inspiring. Every number was a gem, and the applause was uncontrollable. The rendition of the “Maple Leaf,” with variations, was received with a patriotic ovation. We had the pleasure of a word of congratulation with the veteran Bandmaster Robinson at the close. He has been with the 13th for 27 years, and looks well able in spite of his silvering hair to swing the baton for another quarter of a century. We believe negotiations are in progress for the band to take part in the G.A.R. festivities at Buffalo next month. Another enthusiastic audience will greet the bank at the Temple again to-night (Friday).

SUMMERING AT GRIMSBY PARK

[Welland Tribune, 23 July 1897]

GRIMSBY PARK, July 20-The season at this pretty summer home is at its height, and the month of August promises to be one of the most successful in its history. Those who come for a day have no idea of its attractions or comforts. Guests must become inmates of one of its excellent hotels or cozy cottages to enjoy the fullness of its health and rest-giving virtues. The public buildings and grounds are lighted with electricity, and pure spring water is in abundance. The lake in all its varying moods is a constant source of interest, and furnishes ample bathing, boating and fishing. The shady park and walks and picnic and play grounds are a veritable paradise for children-safe and inviting-where they may roam at their own sweet will. The driveways and bicycle paths in the parks, and the roads running in all directions-to Grimsby, Beamsville, Winona, Hamilton-furnish sport for the wheelwomen and wheelmen, who bowl over the smooth roads as over asphalted city streets. But the Temple is the centre of all attraction at this pretty place, and afternoon and evening programs of pleasure and profit are free to every “citizen” who supplies himself or herself with a ticket-the cost of which is 65 cents per week or $1.50 for the entire season (children under 13 years free). The recreation delightful, and gives just the right spice to the quiet and restful life at hotel and cottage. During this week two of the brightest little people on this continent have interested and amused large audiences at the auditorium-Master George Wills (soloist) of Chicago and Miss Winnifred G. Mills (elocutionist) of Hamilton. Better entertainers of such tender years are seldom seen on any stage or platform. It has been a week doubly delightful for the children. This week will close with a brilliant musical program by the famous 13th battalion band of Hamilton on Saturday evening. Next week illustrated lectures by such well known orators as Rev. Dr. Geo. Peck, Rev. B. Fay Mills, Frank Yeigh and others, will be followed by another concert (on Friday) by the noble 13th battalion band- a soul-stirring musical treat. And through August the interest increases. No wonder the managers of hotels and owners of cottages look for a large and enthusiastic company of guests from now until the season closes. Few people have the proper idea of what a prominent watering place Grimsby Park has become, Grand Trunk trains, trolley cars, steamboats and all classes of vehicles land passengers at its very gates, and one can come and go at almost any hour. Within the park, happy contentment reigns supreme. There is no rush of electric cars, no smoke or dust to speak of, no liquor, no rough or rowdy element-the daily life is close to the ideal. President Phelps and his staff are tireless in their efforts to protect and to please patrons who make this their home for a day, a week, or a month. Kindly courtesy permeates the demeanor of every official, and visitors seem to be imbued with the same commendable affability. To the delightful surroundings, interesting services and good wholesome amusements, one must add another attraction-the park hotels. It is surprising how moderately one can live, and live well, at these well managed hotels. The Lakeview is located on the water front and the Park house is situated just south of the Temple. Both houses are managed by J.D. Strawn of Toronto, a gentleman who has made these hotels a pleasant summer abiding place for hosts of visitors. Mr. Strawn has also sole control of the restaurants and stores, and we hear naught but praise of his management. He supervises the business of all, but gives his personal attention largely to the Lakeview house, while Mr. Vanatter looks well after the comforts of the Park house guests. Furnished cottages may be rented at reasonable rates and splendid table board secured at the hotel at from $3.50 to $4.50 per week. If families prefer to provide their own meals, a first class general store, meat shop, daily produce market, dairy and every requisite are at their disposal, with prices no higher than in your own town. Comfortably housed in a roomy, flag-bedecked cottage overlooking the lake, we can, from experience, heartily recommend Grimsby Park as a model place for solid comfort during the sweltering months yet to come.  ROVER

THE STEAMER LAKESIDE

Attempt To Burn the Vessel At Her Dock In St. Catharines-An Infernal Machine.

[Welland Tribune, 25 July 1897]

St. Catharines, June 20-An almost successful attempt was made about 11 o’clock on Saturday night to burn the steamer Lakeside as she lay at her wharf here. Most of the crew had retired, and the watchman was making his rounds when he heard a slight explosion in the vicinity of the boiler room, and turning suddenly found flames breaking out in all directions from the vessel. The hands were immediately aroused and set to work to fight the flames. The engineer started the pony engine and soon had two or three streams playing on the fire. The city firemen were also promptly on the scene and the flames were quickly drowned out. The damage to the boat will be about $300 and is covered by insurance. When daylight came this morning and the work of repairing was started the remains of an infernal machine were found in the boiler room.

FORT ERIE JOCKEY CLUB RACES

BRILLIANT SUCCESS UNABATED

[Welland Tribune, 25 June 1897]

The Fort Erie Jockey Club races are increasing in popularity daily, and it looks as if the meeting would go on record as one of the most brilliant in the annals of Canadian sports. Every day is a “big day,” but Jubilee day was a boomer.  It was essentially “Canadian’s day,” the province contributing to swell the crowd by at least two thousand people. The card hung up was all that could have been desired, the steeple chase combining all the exciting features necessary to enthuse the visitors. Two of the favorites fell at the jumps, and long shots won the race. The jockeys were not seriously injured, and when they again mounted, and rode to the finish, they were received with great applause. Local sports have been exceptionally fortunate in the betting-although it may be that the losers are not making a song of their losses. At any rate we hear of small loses and some snug wins. The success has been so complete that talk is already rife that the meeting may be prolonged beyond the advertised time-but this is not likely. It would be quite a card for the meeting to end up in a blaze of glory on Independence Day, (July 5) and leave the public with a keen appetite for another meeting later on. Good cards are on for the coming week, and extra crowds are expected on July 1st and 5th. But so far as the racing goes all days are good ones.

THE WABASH COMING EAST

RUNNING POWERS SECURED FROM DETROIT TO BUFFALO

Lease of the Grand Trunk and Erie Railway Tracks-First Trains Run on June 13

[Welland Tribune, 4 June 1897]

St. Louis, May 31- An announcement was made here this afternoon of one of the most important deals between railroads that has occurred for several years. The announcement is upon the authority of the officials of the Wabash Railway, and is to the effect that the Wabash has leased the use of the tracks of the Grand Trunk Railway in Canada between Windsor and the Suspension Bridge and also the use of the tracks of the Erie Railroad between the Suspension Bridge and Buffalo, thus extending the terminus of the Wabash eastward from Detroit to Buffalo. The lease becomes operative on Sunday, June 13, when two double trains will be run over the new extension. This arrangement has been in contemplation some time and the negotiations were satisfactorily closed last week. Wabash employees will control the trains over the entire route and through tickets will read between Buffalo and Kansas City.

The consideration, it is said in railroad circles, is $1,000 a mile per year rental, besides the payment of one-half of the maintenance charges of the division.

WILLIAM SCOFIELD

[Welland Tribune, 14 May 1897]

Windsor, May 10th-William Scofield of Belle River was struck by a Grand Trunk train at the Puce, 13 miles from Windsor, yesterday and killed. His body was discovered by Conductor Freeman in the ditch near the track, and taken to Belle River. He leaves a widow and five children.

MRS. FACER GETS $1,500

[Welland Tribune. 30 April 1897]

The accident on the T.H.& B. railway just west of Hamilton on the afternoon of Sept. 16th last, by which a locomotive and tender were completely wrecked and the engineer and fireman lost their lives, has proved decidedly expensive. Mrs. Edith Johnson, of the village of Scotland, widow of the dead fireman, George Johnson, sued the road for damages, and the company settled on Monday for $2,000 and $300 costs. Mrs. Johnson gets $1,500 and her daughter Lena, $500.

Mrs. Isabella Facer of Welland, widow of the engineer, James Facer, also sued for damages, and the company gave her $1.500 and $300 for costs, to settle the case.

THE BICYCLE BILL

[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

This is the Ontario bicycle bill:

(a) In case a person travelling or being upon a highway in charge of a vehicle meets a person travelling upon a bicycle or tricycle he shall, where practicable, allow the person travelling upon a bicycle or tricycle sufficient room on the travelled portion of the highway to pass to the right.

(b) In case a person travelling upon a highway on a bicycle or tricycle overtakes any vehicle or horseman travelling at less speed or a person on foot, the former shall give an audible warning of his approach before attempting to pass.

© In case a bicyclist is overtaken by a vehicle or horseman going faster, the former shall quietly turn out to the right, and the latter to the left, far enough to avoid a collision in passing.