Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[Welland Tribune, 30 May 1872]

On Sunday evening last, whilst Mr. Ralph Rice and his sisters, Miss Belle Rice and Mrs. Henry Garner, of Pelham, were proceeding homeward from attendance at the re-opening services in the Wesleyan Church here, a serious accident befel them. They were in a democrat wagon, and when driving past Mr. Thomas Griffith’s place, the horses started up suddenly, loosening the hinder seat and throwing it and its occupants, the two ladies, backwards out of the wagon and on the hard road. Both ladies were badly jarred by the fall, Miss Rice so much as to be rendered insensible for a time. They were immediately taken into Mr. Griffith’s house and placed under a doctor’s care, and have since recovered sufficiently to enable them to proceed to their homes.


[Welland Tribune, 14 March 1872]

We are in receipt of the Annual Report of the Registrar-general of Ontario, upon the Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths, in the Province. The period under review is the year ended Dec. 31st, 1870. The Registrar-general admits that the work has been performed very incompletely and is a partial failure. He says: “A comparison of the actual number of registrations with the estimated numbers, shows that about one-third of the births, about two-thirds of the marriages, and one-fifth of the deaths have been registered.” This being the case, the report is unworthy of close analysis, being almost valueless as a guide to matters of information respecting the vital statistics of the Province. In the whole Province, for the term specified, 19,536 births, 8,668 marriages and 6,905 deaths were registered making 35,109 registrations in all. In Welland County, 202 males, 188 females and 1 sex omitted were registered as having been born; the number of marriages returned is 113, and deaths 148. The age of the eldest deceased is stated to have been 108 years.

VanWYCK’s Sash, Shingle and Planing Factory


          Mr. Adam VanWyck’s Sash, Shingle and Planing Factory, situate on the north side of the Welland River, unfortunately caught fire on Saturday last, at noon, and with its contents, was totally destroyed. Besides the building itself, a steam engine, a large lot of machinery, about twenty thousand feet of lumber, a large lot of window frames &c., manufactured and awaiting delivery, were destroyed. Mr. VanWyck’s books and the tools of the workmen were also destroyed, so rapid was the progress of the flames. The fire was occasioned by fire blowing out of the stove door, igniting the shavings on the floor and wrapping the room in flames almost instantaneously. There were men in the building at the time, and some of them went to the canal-a few feet off-for water, but when they returned, the room could not be entered. The only valuable piece of machinery was a planing machine valued at $650. Amongst the stuff burned was a lot of window sash &c., for Hoover’s hotel, and a quantity of material for Bridges’ new store. The total loss will foot up to between $4000 and $5000, on which there was no insurance. We believe it is Mr. Van Wyck’s intention to rebuild immediately and we are sure our citizens will readily yield him their aid. By doing so they will benefit themselves as well as Mr. VanWyck, for his establishment was one of the greatest advantages the town possessed. Mr. V. having lost his books is desirous of having an immediate settlement with those with whom he has been dealing, and we trust his request, made known by advertisement  elsewhere in this paper, will meet with a hearty response, and that ere three months shall elapse his machinery will again be up and running to its greatest capacity.

Welland Tribune

4 December 1872

Fire: 30 November 1872



           We are sorry to announce the loss by fire of the Sash Factory of Mr. Adam VanWyck, which was destroyed on Saturday last. The fire was first discovered about 12:30 p.m. while the men were away at dinner, and so quickly did the flames spread that it was found impossible to save anything out of the building, and in a short time it was a mass of smouldering ruins. The lumber of which there was a considerable quantity, was almost all saved, but about a thousand dollars worth of prepared lumber inside is a total loss. Mr. VanWyck’s loss by the fire is about $5000 and his books in which was about $2000 of accounts were burnt up as well. There was no insurance, so Mr. VanWyck has to bear the loss alone.

Welland Telegraph

5 December 1872 


Mr. VanWyck’s Disaster

             In another place we give an account of the severe loss sustained by Mr. VanWyck by the destruction of his sash factory by fire on Saturday. To say we regret it is merely echoing the sentiments of all Mr. V’s townsmen, and those in the country round about Welland, where he is well and favorably known. Commencing in this town but a few years ago, he had built up a good business, and established for himself an excellent reputation as a fair dealing honest tradesman. He had succeeded in nearly overcoming the difficulties consequent on the extension of his business, and expected inside of another year, to be considerably more than even with the world, but by this fire, the accumulations of years of careful work were destroyed in an hour or two, and himself thrown back years on the road to competence. The loss to the town by this calamity is not inconsiderable, as much work, that would otherwise be sent here, will now have to go to St. Catharines or some other town. It is Mr. VanWyck’s intention to rebuild if his creditors will give him time, and we think that his many friends should make their sympathies take a practical turn, and give aid to a man who is certainly richly deserving of assistance, and unless we have much mistaken the feelings of everyone whom we have heard refer to the matter, any persons who would take the matter in hand, would find a response which would show that the people can appreciate honest enterprise in one of themselves. We understand that steps have been taken by some parties to assist Mr. VanWyck in rebuilding, and it is to be hoped that the public will cheerfully aid in the work, and that those who are owing him will make it their business to aid by paying him what is due.

Welland Telegraph

5 December 1872



           Mr. A.K. VanWyck is this week in receipt of 140,000 feet of the best seasoned pine lumber from Port Ryerse, per schooner “Ellen Theresa.” Talk about this being a “wooden country!” Why, we hav’nt wood enough for own manufacturers; we are compelled to import.

People’s Press

30 May 1872


Mr. VanWyck received another schooner-load of lumber on Monday. His business must be very extensive to occasion the use of so much material. One such manufacturer does more to benefit a town than a half-a-dozen “middlemen” or traders who simply exchange but neither produce nor manufacture.

Welland Tribune

3 July 1872

Mr. VanWyck is beginning to rebuild his factory.

Welland Telegraph

5 March 1873



           The west side of the Canal seems to be taking the lead in the building line already. Mr. A.K. VanWyck’s sash factory in now on the way and will be pushed forward rapidly. Mr. S .E. Hopkins’ barn is raised, and preparations are being made for the brick dwelling house on the same lot. Marcus Vanderburgh is now cutting stone for the sills to be used on Mr. Morwood’s brick block.

Welland Telegraph

13 March 1873


           The frame of Mr. A. K. Van Wyck’s Sash Factory is nearly ready to raise. At least a horse in his employ, owned and driven by “John”-thought so when a board slipped from a load of lumber which was being conveyed to the building site by said horse, touched his “behint.” A raising took place just then, and such a raising. Oh! If h “eels” didn’t fly, “than we don’t know nothing.”

Welland Telegraph

27 March 1873

Multiple Fires NOVEMBER 1872

FIRE-The chimney of the Tremont House caught fire on Monday last, but was extinguished without damage. As we have no facilities for extinguishing fires, we hope the inhabitants of our wooden town will use all possible precaution to prevent fire, and keep well insured and obey the provisions of the insurance policy. Unless this is done, we will represent Chicago and Boston, only on a smaller scale, some of these windy days.

Welland Tribune

27 November 1872

Fire: 25 November 1872


FIRE-On Friday last, about midnight, our citizens were alarmed by the unwonted cry of fire and an investigation quickly proved that the north side school house was hopelessly enveloped in flames. The parties first arriving succeeded in rescuing the books, desks, and part of the window sash, the rest of the building was consumed or rendered useless. The building was of brick, and cost $300. The fire was caused by ashes left in the entry. We are informed that ashes were left both in a tin pail and in a wooden box. There was an insurance of $600 on the premises in the Welland Mutual Insurance Co., but inasmuch as a condition of the policy is to the effect that the company will not be held responsible for loss from fire caused by leaving ashes in wooden vessels, it is doubtful if the town will get the insurance money. The circumstances certainly judicate a great lack of caution both on the part of the teacher and the trustees-on the part of the teacher in not seeing that proper care was taken of the ashes, and on the part of the trustees in not having the building more heavily insured and in not seeing that the conditions of the policy were strictly observed.

Welland Tribune

27 November 1872

Fire: 22 November 1872


FIRE-At about 12.30 a.m. on Saturday morning, a fire was observed to break out in the brick school house, on the north side of the Chippawa river. With the help at hand, it was found impossible to stop the fire, and before sufficient aid came the flames had obtained such hold as to render any attempt to put them out ineffectual. As no hopes of saving the building could be entertained, attention was turned to rescuing as much as possible from the devouring element. The desks, chairs and all the books of the pupils were gotten out safely, and most of the windows were taken out of their casings and carried away to a place of safety, so that little was left but the walls and roof. This fire broke out apparently in the lobby, where some ashes had been deposited, from which it is supposed the fire originated as it first showed itself above this spot. The house is a ruin. The building is insured to the amount of $600 in the Welland Mutual Insurance Company.

Welland Telegraph

28 November 1872