Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


“Tramp. Tramp, the beggars are coming to town

Old Rhyme

[Welland Tribune, 16 February 1877]

The incoming tramp, tramp, of the ever increasing army of tramps placed before the Welland village council the choice of two evils; either to start an economical poor house for the swarms of impecunious invaders, or start the whole corporation itself off for the nearest free benevolent institution. The town “daddies” have gracefully paid the tramps’ hotel bills until this winter when they accrued faster than the tax collector, let him forage as he might, could collect the taxes in to pay them off. The crisis had then “arrove” and manfully was it grappled with. After a thorough inspection of the town, the “indignant committee” selected that commodious and high-toned frame building near the canal bridge, irreverently known as “Hightree’s old Paint Shop,” as the most suitable place that could be got for a town poor house and it was leased accordingly. The judgment of the committee is to be commended, as the site is central and possesses excellent water privileges, which latter form quite an item considering the important part that liquid occupies in the bill of fare. Mr. Hightree’s pious turn of mind led him to suggest that the institution be denominated “The Saints’ Rest,” but the committee not wishing to conflict with Baxters “Saints’ Rest” up at the Court House, styled the place



“Ample accommodation for Tramps and Vags. No references required.

“Lamont & Hooker”


“The baggage department has been placed under the able and experienced management of Mr. P. Conly, who will see that any stray bottles of liquor refreshments found on lodgers will be put where they will do the most good.” -Paddy Conly was well renown as being eccentric and spent much time in jail for public intoxication.

The following Bill of Fare will be served to the patrons of the Hotel des Bummers (Tramps’ Retreat) on Sunday next at 5 p.m.


Toothpick Soup…Shadow Soup


Boiled Goose (one-legged sauce)

Roast Codfish (cut blas)

Roast Curlers (done brown at Thorold)

Tender Lion (smuggled dressing)


Fricasseed Umbrellas (whalebone sauce)

Crabs (soft shell pull-backs)

Chinese Pot-pie (a la rat)


Cork Pudding (button hole sauce)

Cold Dip (a la Vennor)

Broiled Ulsters (Protest sauce)

Invisible Pie


Ice Cream on Toast

Fairy on Ice

Adam’s Ale

Snowballs, Icicles &c.

*Bloodied tramps will sit at head of table, and see that the butter has its hair parted in the middle. Vags will have to furnish their own napkin rings and finger bowls.

*Guests will please report any inattention on the part of the waiters.

The house is run on strictly moral and temperance principles, not even that baneful beverage immortalized by our local M.P., and known as “Raspberry Syrup.” being tolerated on the premises. Notwithstanding this, it is said that after a good run of old stagers who mayhap have been sawing wood or shovelling snow for whiskey until they got their skins good and full of the air of the room will make a man unaccustomed to the use of bug juice stagger inside of two minutes. The proprietors, however, we are happy to learn, never experience any evil effects from this cause, but on the other hand if on returning home from council or lodge their garments smell as if they had been run through a gin mill and then hung up in a tobacco warehouse to dry, they can stave off Mrs. Caudle by laying it all to “those cussed tramps.” A number of soft planks are used for beds, with the advantages that they always keep clean, do not give the sleeper that suffocating, clinging sensation sometimes derived from feathers, and there is never any disagreement in reference to the possession of the bed clothes. The Tramps’ Home furnishes but two meals a day, but to counterbalance this the guests are never troubled with those little hotel bills. A few evenings ago two guests objected to the menu, saying they were accustomed to porter house steak and toast, and would prefer a dish of oysters seeing the bivalves were now in season. Singular to say “mine hosts” refused this entirely reasonable request, remarking that the success of the institution did not at all depend on its popularity with guests, and if the arrangements didn’t suit why they could go to-Thorold, where they come from.

But seriously, a Poor House has been established as stated, where tramps are given a room, plenty of fire, bread and water, at the expense of the town, and if the charitably disposed feel inclined to donate other articles of food (cooked), no doubt they will find thankful consumers almost any time, as the House is scarcely any night without occupants.



[Welland Tribune, 6 July 1877]

SEALED TENDERS will be received by the undersigned, marked “Tenders for Odd Fellows’ Hall, Welland,” up to and including THE 12TH DAY OF JULY, 1877, For the erection of the above hall.

Plans and speculations can be seen at the dry goods store of D. McConachie, Welland, or at the office of Mellish & Sons, Brantford.

The tender of the accepted party or parties (if so let) to give satisfactory security for the due fulfillment of the contract, the building to be commenced immediately after contract is let, and pushed to completion without delay. (The plans and specifications upon which former tenders were asked have been reduced for the purpose of lessening the price.) Parties wishing to tender will please attend to the matter at once, as the season is advancing and the Building Committee are anxious to have the hall erected this season if at all possible. An overseer will be in charge.

The lowest or any tender not unnecessarily accepted.


Sec, Building Committee

Welland, July 4, 1877




Speeches from Prominent Citizens

Protests Entered and a Memorial to be Sent to the Government

[Welland Telegraph, 9 March 1877]

In response to call of the Reeve, a public meeting was held in the Town Hall this evening at 8 o’clock to consider the report of the Chief Engineer of Public Works, wherein it recommends the closing up of the old canal and purchase of the mills, together with the probable change in the site of the swing bridge. A large and influential representation of our freeholders were present and considerable interest was manifested.

On motion, John Dunigan, Esq., was called to the chair, and N.B. Colcock was appointed secretary.

After the chairman had stated the object of the meeting by reading the hand bill issued for that purpose, he remarked that from Chief Engineer Page the swing bridge would be removed from its present position further south, and be placed so that the west end would come opposite Bald street and the east side opposite Division street. On the west side a good street would be opened on the site of the old canal round Mr. Campbell’s corner to Bald street, so as to allow access to the bridge. Work would be commenced as soon as possible, that is as soon as the plans were prepared, which were being pushed forward rapidly now. Mr. Page had stated that he wanted to know the wishes of the people at once, before said plans were effected.

DR. FRAZER said, if the suggestions contained in the report of Mr. Page were carried out, we might bid good-by to Welland. We have St. Catharines, Thorold, and other places to contend against, and all the line of the canal above and below us, millers and all seemed  joined in one common cause and that was to work against the interests of Welland. This place, if our water privilege is continued, is destined to become a central wheat market, and once that is obtained, Welland bids fair to advance to  her proper station.________


[Welland Telegraph, 22 March 1877]

Yesterday Mr. T. F. Brown leased this popular hotel to Mr. Elias Fitch, late of the Cairns House, St. Catharines. Our readers are well aware that the “City” has undergone a thorough renovation since Mr. Brown became the possessor. It has been raised two feet, and had a new roof put on. The outside has been repainted, making a very neat appearance, and that is greatly augmented by a handsome sign, which, although, waiting for the finishing touch by an ornamentation in the shape of the royal arms, when finished, will be a splendid piece of workmanship. The inside has also been grained and papered throughout, and otherwise placed in first-class repair. The painting &c was done by P.C. Flynn, Esq., of Manchester, N.Y., and does credit alike to all concerned. The hall in connection has also been re-plastered and otherwise thoroughly overhauled. The hotel now ranks second to none in this district, and under the able management of Mr. Elias Fitch, who comes very highly recommended from St. Catharines, we are satisfied will afford first-class accommodation for the travelling public.


Relieving the Destitute-Public Meeting of the Citizens of Welland.

[Welland Telegraph, 29 June 1877]

Pursuant to call of the Reeve, a meeting of the citizens was held in the Town Hall on Monday evening last, to consider the advisability of granting a sum of money for the relief of the sufferers by the recent fire at St. John, N.B.

The meeting was organized by the Reeve being called to the chair, and H.A. Durnan appointed secretary.

Considerable discussion was indulged in as to the amount and manner in which relief should be given-all present being of the opinion that something should be done. Some advocated the granting of a sum of $100, some $200 and some $250, at once; others thought that the County Council then in session, should be called upon to grant a large sum which would be alike borne by all the inhabitants of the county. Others again thought that there would be no use postponing action, for past experience taught them that much need not be expected from the County Council.

Finally, on motion of A. Williams, Esq., it was resolved that the Reeve be requested to call a meeting of the Town Council at once, and represent to that Board the wish of this meeting that $200 be granted to the relief committee of the city of St. John, N.B.

The Reeve was also requested by motion to urge upon the County Council the advisability of largely increasing the above amount by a grant from their funds.

The meeting then adjoined.


Meeting of the Board to “Consider” the Matter- $100 Finally Given.

An informal meeting of the Town Council was held in the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, to consider the request of the voice of the recent public meeting, asking the council to grant the sum of $200 in aid of the sufferers at St. John.

Present- The Reeve in the chair, and Messrs. Page, Lamont, Hooker and Sidey.

The Reeve, in stating the object of the meeting, very warmly supported compliance with the request of the citizens, stating that when fellow creatures of our own dominion had the misfortune to be in so much trouble, it was nothing but our duty to do what we could to relieve their sufferings. He did not see how the Council could set aside the request of the public meeting. If it had not been as largely attended as some thought it should have been, yet the council had no other means of_________.

ALLEGED MAIL ROBBERY-Mr. S.S. Brooks, Assistant Post-Master at Bismark, has been committed for trial for abstracting money letters from the bags on the route between Wellandport and Grimsby.


[Welland Telegraph, 28 September 1877]

               General Tyfzssphhjoeriz, late of the Russian army is in town. P. Connolly, Esq., made the acquaintance of this celebrated soldier in Moscow, thirteen years ago, and says he looks as natural as he did on that memorable occasion. It would be infinitely interesting to have the gradual growth of the mind of this gentleman from “boyhood happy days” to mature manhood, but our space will not permit of it; suffice to say, he received the rudiments of his education at the College of Cyymfhhahinmquxxff, where he was noted for his love of “vertigo” (gin). He completed his studies in jurisprudence at Lixemnq Zwfxfmp, after which he entered the army and while in the service of the Czar, the Bash Bazouka nicknamed him Yyangfxtdmhhio-a neat appellation indeed. He is now looking for a building to start a Chinese laundry in.


Special Meeting-The Assessment-The Rate Struck at Thirteen Mills

[Welland Telegraph, 21 September 1877]

              Pursuant to former notice a special session of the Town Council was held in the Town Hall on Friday evening last.

             There were present-the Reeve in the chair, and Messrs. Lamont, Page and Sidey.

             The first business was the ordering of the payment of the following accounts:

T.W. Hooker-brickbats $1.88
J.J. Burgar-relief   1.00
O.H. Round- 30.50
T. Mains-care engine and lamps 20.50
Edgar Doan-street work   1.00
E.R. Hellems-drawing documents   5.00
D.A. Doan-street work   6.00
S.R. Girven-lamps and posts   5.50
B. Doan-teaming   1.40
J.J. Sidey-printing and adv’t 36.87
W. Lawrence-street work 32.25
S. Lamont-relief to Homewood   2.44
L.V. Garner 13.13
David Doan   1.00
H.T. Rose-survey   5.00

             The account of Mr. John Hern, $15, for tongue on fire engine was ordered to be paid as soon as engine committee certified.


NEARLY A BLAZE- On Monday night last, Mr. and Mrs. Bowman, Bald street, left their house to come down town to see the fireworks; while absent, the children, it is supposed, were playing with fire-crackers setting fire to the carpet in one of the rooms. Mr. Nichols, who boarded there, chancing to come in just in time, stopped the blaze and thus saved the house, contents, and perhaps the lives of the children.

Welland Telegraph

6 July 1877

Fire: 2 July 1877


             FIRE ALARM- Last Sunday about 11 o’clock in the forenoon, the alarm of fire at Chamber’s tin shop was given investigation proving that one of the posts of the building, which was pretty well elevated from the ground, was on fire. A few tough boards enclosing under the house were ripped off and what might have proven a devastating conflagration, as a high gale was prevailing at the time, was nipped in the bud by the application of a few pails full of water. It is a mystery how the fire originated unless from a cigar stub or pipe, the corner being one much frequented by street loafers on Sundays, whom property owners in the neighborhood would do well to warn away. The engine was got out promptly but its services were not required.

Welland Tribune

6 July 1877

Fire: 1 July 1877


FIRE AT McALPINE’S- At about 11 p.m. on Monday evening last, while the “hop” was going on in the Firemen’s hall, Welland, an alarm of fire was raised. As, at the last time the firemen had a ball a false alarm was raised, the officers were very cautious in taking out the engine, especially as it rained very hard. Everything was got ready, however, and as soon as it was found that it really was a fire, the alarm was sounded and the engine immediately started. Arriving at the scene, Mr. McAlpine’s brick dwelling, about a mile down the creek, was in flames. The engine was promptly at work, but the water in the two wells failing, very little was accomplished beyond saving the walls, and a little outbuilding. The building was rented to a Mr. Linch, who had just completed furnishing it with a lot of new furniture, &c., which was uninsured. We learn the origin of the fire was a defective connection between stove-pipe and chimney in the garnet, which caused sparks to fall when the occupants of the house came home to get their tea. A card of thanks appears in another column from Mr. A. J. McAlpine.

Welland Telegraph

6 July 1877

Fire: 2 July 1877

HOUSE BURNED- On Monday night last, a small brick house on the outskirts of the town, belonging to A.J. McAlpine, caught fire and with contents was totally destroyed. The building was tenanted by Mr. Edward Lynch, dredgeman for Mr. Silcox, who, with his wife and child, was in attendance at the Firemen’s Hop at the time, and lost all his furniture excepting a bureau and five chairs. There was no insurance on any of the property. Some think the fire was the result of incendiarism but Mr. McAlpine is very positive it originated from a stove pipe that was not properly secured. The loss is not heavy. The fire engine was on the ground after the building had been pretty well burned down, and put out the coals, saving some of the window benches. A difference has arisen between the Fire Co and Mr. McAlpine, growing out of the matter. The firemen accuse Mr. McAlpine of wanting them to draw the engine back to town instead of having one of his teams do it, whilst Mr. McAlpine says that had the engine been brought promptly to the fire as might have been done, much would have been saved.

Welland Tribune

6 July 1877

MR. McALPINE explains that the reason he did not get his team to bring the engine back from the fire immediately upon being requested was because they were not at the scene of the fire, not that he did not wish to perform the service. He, however, sent for his horses and, as a matter of fact, they did draw the steamer back to the firemen’s hall.

Welland Tribune

13 July 1877