Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[Welland Tribune, 24 November 1876]

Mr. E.R. Hellems has resigned his position as teacher of the public school on account of his having engaged in other business. It speaks well for Mr. H. that he has held the position he now voluntarily resigns for the past eight consecutive years. Altogether he has been engaged in the profession of teaching for upwards of 25 years.

Train on CSR Went Into The Old Canal

[Simcoe Reformer, April 27, 1876]

A freight train on the Canada Southern Railway on Monday night went into the old canal at Welland, the bridge being open. The engineer and a brake man were killed. The train was loaded with whiskey, cornmeal etc.

Terrible Railway Accident

A train of cars plunges through an open bridge into the Welland Canal.

[Waterford Star, April 28, 1876]

A terrible railway accident happened at the junction of the Canada Southern Railway and the Welland Canal, about a mile south of this town, last night about 10 o’clock.

About 10 o’clock last evening, the man in charge of the railway swing bridge, George Beams, had the bridge, which is double, open, to allow the tug Mary O’Laughlin to pass, and while it was thus open he saw a train coming from the west. The red signal light was up, and every precaution taken, but the engine gave no sign of stopping or even slacking speed. The bridge-tender waved his lamp, and did all he could to attract attention, but without avail. He, however, stuck manfully to his post, although warned by those standing on the opposite bank of the canal to leave the bridge or he would be killed. From the conductor it is learned that, just previous to the accident the fireman, H. Jones, had left the engine, going to the caboose for his lunch, his place being taken by John Vauhoughton, brakesman, aged twenty-six.At the rear of the train of 33 cars, they saw the danger, and did their best to arrest their progress, but unsuccessfully, for the engine did not lesson its speed, and they feared the driver was asleep, and saw from the light and sparks that the brakesman, Vanhoughton, was firing up.

On arriving at the pond, just before reaching the canal, the engine plunged into the water dragging after it eight of the cars loaded as they were with merchandise. Some of the cars passed over the engine, striking against the swing-bridge, pushing it almost six feet off the centre.

A wrecking car was promptly on the spot from the west, and a spare engine from Fort Erie, bringing with them W.K. Muir, General Manager; C.E. Burton, Master Mechanic and Chas. Carr, Bridge Superintendent.

John Vanhoughton was found by Conductor Ferguson on the bank a little down the track, nearly submerged in the water. He was carefully taken out, and it was found that life was not quite extinct. He died, however, shortly afterwards.

The driver it is supposed is buried in the debris of the engine. His body has not yet been recovered. His name is Aaron Cady, of Watertown, New York, but lately of Terre Haute, Ind.

It is supposed the line will not be open for traffic for about three days.

The Canada Southern have made arrangements with the Grand Trunk Company by which there will be no interruption to the through freight and passenger traffic on the former road. Their trains will take the Grand Trunk Railroad track at Canfield, to and from the East.


[Welland Tribune, 10 February 1876]

           On Thursday evening last week, as Mrs. C.J. Page was coming off the Chippawa Creek Bridge, a stick of timber being drawn along slued over, coming against her lower limbs, and falling on her feet, inflicting serious injuries. It was thought that some of the bones of her feet were broken, but we learn that such was not the case, although one foot was badly mangled. Mrs. P. was drawn her little girl in a sleigh at the time, and the stick, striking the vehicle, smashed it to atoms, and threw the child some ten or fifteen feet, hurting it somewhat. Dr. Scholfield attended the case. Mrs. Page saw the team coming and stopped in a safe place, when the team stopped also; she then started on and the team did likewise, the result being as above. The driver we should say was certainly very careless or awkward or both. The accident adds another to the long list of instances going to show the necessity of foot bridges separate from the wagon track, over both the River and the Canal.

           As the Welland Railway train going south stopped at Stonebridge last Tuesday week, a wedding party drove up and were compelled to await the starting of the train, as it extended over the roadway. There some eight or ten buggies and as they drive up close to the train the passengers had a good look at them, and were not sparing in comments. “That’s him,” said one,-“see how he lafs.” “Yes,” responds another, “that’s her with the baggage.” The “baggage” by the way consisted of a satchel, stored with the requisites of a bridal trip, we presume. “See, how they lean together-ain’t they just sweet?” suggested a third,-when the engine shrieked, the train moved on, and the unsinged moths were left free to pursue their course towards the dazzling headlight of matrimony.

           We are not to blame if some of our subscribers did not receive their papers on time last week. The mail carrier missed the 6.59 train on the W.R. on Friday morning, laying over the papers we usually send by that mail in the post office here until the afternoon.


[Welland Tribune, 1 September 1876]

             This morning about half-past one o’clock, Mr. Thomas Smith was awakened by his wife and found the house filled with smoke; he jumped out of bed, ran down stairs, and finding the way clear he returned for his wife and children, whom he assisted out. Mr. Smith lost all in the building, except a bureau, (containing a family Bible), a bonnet, and a few other things, a cook stove, clock and canary bird. He lost a valuable library, a set of blacksmith’s tools, a set of draughting tools valued at $80, all their clothing, bedding and furniture, save as above stated. The house was entirely new, the family only moving into it the evening previous; the things had not been sided up, and the stove was not up, nor had any lights, other than a bed-room lamp, been used. As the fire originated from the outside, it evidently was the work of some evil-disposed person. Insurance, on the building, $400, and none on the contents.