Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[Welland Tribune, 21 March 1884]

Welland has eight churches.

Welland should have a park.

Welland should have a market.

Welland should have more manufacturers.

Welland should be made a port of entry.

Welland has handsome women and appreciative men.

Welland is the county seat of a rich agricultural county.

Welland has a steam fire engine and a first-class fire department.

Welland has as fine educational facilities as any town of its size in the Dominion.

Welland should have the balance of her main streets macadamized slowly-but steadily and surely,

Welland is located on the banks of the Welland river and canal which afford magnificent water power.

Welland is already a great railway centre, and prospects are bright for future lines passing through here.

Welland’s great aqueduct over the Welland river will be in course of construction for two years yet. It will cost over a million dollars.

Welland now has two flouring mills, two foundries and machine shops, one boiler works, two saw and planing mills, one pump factory, two carriage works, two steam printing offices, two cabinet works.


[Welland Tribune, 14 November 1884]

THE TOWN SAFE- Our council have purchased of Graham & Co. the large safe belonging to the R. Balfour estate for the safe keeping of the town records and documents. This safe went through the great fire at Port Colborne, preserving its contents safely, in which it was put in as good shape as new and guaranteed. It weighs nearly three tons and was purchased at the ridiculously low price of $100 as its former owners, having closed up business at Port, had no further use for it, and did not wish to incur the expense of removal.

THE old fire hall is being repaired at a cost of about $400. This will fit up the lower storey so that the water in the boiler may be kept from freezing during the winter, but does not include the erection of a hose tower or the finishing of the second flat. The Council will probably continue to accept Messrs. Beamer & Sullivan’s hospitality during the winter.

Postmaster Burgar

[Welland Tribune, 31 October 1884]

 Editor of the Tribune:

             Sir:- Last week’s Telegraph says Mr. Charles A. Clark is very wrathy because Postmaster Burgar gave me a letter belonging to him. I am personally known to Mr. Burgar, and on asking for a letter I expected, Mr. Burgar gave me one he and I both supposed to be mine, it being my address in every particular.

             He cannot be wrathy at Mr. Burgar for not knowing there were two parties of the same name in Welland, or what a letter contained. He cannot be wrathy at me because I gave him the letter and contents soon as I saw it was not mine. He can only be wrathy at his father (if he is wrathy at all) for giving him my name viz: Charles A. Clark.


Heavy Losses-Narrow Escapes

[Welland Tribune, 24 October 1884]

              The tradition that in Welland one fire is always closely followed by a second and perhaps a third is again proved good. On Monday morning between one and two o’clock, Mary Padgett, a girl employed at the Windsor House, was awakened by a noise on the window, which she at first thought was hail, but was not long in being rudely awakened to the fact that it was flames dashing against the glass, from the burning shed attached to the house. The wind was brisk, blowing the fire directly against the house, the window breaking in immediately. The girl ran, giving the alarm. The landlord’s family rooms were near by and the flames were also upon them at once, they barely escaping with their lives and without saving a particle of wearing apparel except what they had on. Mr. and Mrs. Tuckett and one child were singed in passing through the hall, which was swept by fiery current, but fortunately not seriously hurt. They at once found shelter with Mr. Coulson’s household in the court house, to whom they express their warmest thanks for kindnesses received. The wind being fair and fresh the fire swept through the house with a rush, Mr. and Mrs. Saxon and Rev. Ashley Johnson, though less hurried than the others, were forced to vacate and consider not upon the manner of their going. The fire department, though some trouble was experienced in giving the alarm, owing to the absence of a town hall, were quickly on the spot, and that they did efficient, aye noble service, the extinguishing of the fire leaving the building in its more than half burned condition and the saving of Mr. McCaw’s frame building, about three feet distant from the hotel, which was also a wooden building, is ample and undeniable evidence.

             As no ashes had been left in the shed, where the fire apparently originated, and as coal was used for fuel in the house, it would seem most probable that the fire was of incendiary origin. A drunken man, who wandered into the hotel on Sunday evening and was ejected by Mr. Tuckett, was subsequently arrested on suspicion, but proved a satisfactory alibi. Mr. Tuckett, therefore, has suspicion of no one.

             All that was saved of the furniture were the bar fixings and liquors and a few articles out of the dining room and front room. Mr. Tuckett had a very large lot of household effects and losses $3300 on which he has received an insurance of $1200 from the Citizens Co. The hotel building was owned by Brown Bros., who estimate their loss of $3000, on which they have $1700 insurance in the Lancashire and Royal, which was promptly allowed in full by the companies interested.

             Mr. Tuckett not only loses his goods, but a fine hotel which he had built up by keeping a quiet and model hotel, which many friends and patrons greatly regret.



[Welland Tribune, 31 October 1884]

              The number of new buildings erected or completed within the town the past twelve months has not been large, but comprise several of a substantial order. Some very fine residences have been constructed, and the improvements to residence property generally are very marked, exceeding that of any previous year in Welland’s history. We have not estimated repainting (except when in connection with other work), and there are dozens of residences which have been decorated at large expense, and yet the aggregate for building foots up to about $40,000.

             Besides this, the public works in course of construction have caused the expenditure of large sums of money in town. During the season the masonry on the southern section of the aqueduct has been completed except the carrying up of a portion of the sidewalks over the arches, which cannot be done until all the arches are in; the old dam is being removed, and the dam at the north end for the whole of the remaining work is being put in position.

             All of our contractors have carried on work outside the corporation, Mr. Nichols’ contracts alone in other places amounting to about $8,000 the past year.

             The brickwork on Mr. Hendershot’s residence was done by Mr. Lewis Neal, and that on other brick structures principally by Mr. M. Vanderburgh, Welland’s veteran mason.

             Mr. Schumacher takes honors in painting and graining. Mr. McCarter has also done some very fine work in this line.

             In plastering, the Messrs. Bowman and Mr. H. Hurst have had the lion’s share of the work.

             The saw and planing mills have had a fairly busy season, large quantities of dressed lumber, frames, etc., being sent into the country.

            Three new scows have been built here during the season, and the new tug, Inez, was launched here last spring-involving an outlay of about $11,000. It is also expected there will, at least, be two tug hulls built here the coming winter.

            The dull times, and all things considered, the town’s progress has been such as its citizens may point to with pride and satisfaction. We should have been pleased to chronicle the erection of some large factories with tall smokestacks, but this pleasure is denied us as yet.

By Contractor Nichol

             A.E. White-barn and other improvements, $100.

             J.P. Evans-Alterations and improvements to hotel, $120.

             Mrs. M. Sullivan-Improvements to residence, $100.

             F.M. Tuckett-Improvements on Windsor House, $125.

             W.G. Somerville, Merritt St.-Verandahs, barn etc., costing about $250.

             Queen’s Hotel-Balcony, new floors, &c., $200.

             Richard Hanna-Brick store, East Main St., two storeys. Cost $2400.

             D. McConachie-Improvements to premises, $50.

             Patrick Powers-Roofing, etc., $100.

             W.D. Jeffrey’s fine residence on Merritt and Shotwell Streets has been enhanced by the addition of tasty verandahs, $100.

             Mr. E.Z. White’s residence, East Main St.-Window blinds, interior improvements, about $150.

             Thomas Cumines’ residence on Burgar St.-Hardwood ceilings and other improvements, about $75.

             Nichol’s planing mill and sash factory-Addition etc., $100.

             Two-storey frame building on Muir Street, suitable for offices, etc., built for Mr. Mellanby, Cost $1200.

             Elegant two-storey frame residence for Mr. Jas. E. Baxter, East Main St., containing eleven rooms and cellar, about $2500.

             Large and imposing residence for James McGlashan, manager Imperial Bank, on River Road. Two-storey frame, containing twelve rooms and cellar; finished in natural wood. Cost about $3500.

             Holy Trinity Church-New south wall: narrowing the south end and making handsome arched chancel; painting, graining, etc. New stained glass window presented by Rev. Mr. Gardiner, and costing about $70; total improvements costing $600. The painting of the interior is being done under Mr. Schumacher’s supervision.

             Sheriff Duncan’s residence, East Main St.-Interior improvements, hot air apparatus, &c. Noblest barn and carriage house in town. Cost-including fence etc., to be constructed about $1200.

             Fine two-storey brick building on Muir St., for the use of the Imperial Bank and owned by Mellanby. Completed in December last. Size 25×15. Costing about $1000. The interior designs are of the Eastlake order, and very handsome.

             Two-storey bay window, verandah, etc., on E.R. Hellem’s residence, Muir Street including some very fine interior work. Cost $600.

             W.N. Garden’s residence, Division Street-Raising roof, adding new verandah, etc. Cost $300.

By Contractors Ellsworth & Johnson

             East store in Symmes’ block-New front and interior improvements; rear addition, etc. Fitted up for Pursel Bros. Cost about $350.

             C.J. Page-Addition and improvements to residence, making it one of the neatest places in town. Cost $150.

             J.E. Baxter-Addition to residence, $110.

             Court House-Raising roof, work on addition etc., (included in cost under head of court house) about $1200.

             Mrs. Willet’s residence-General improvements, $130.

             Work etc., on A. Hendershot’s residence, $250.

             Town of Welland-Rebuilding old Fire Hall, $100. In course of construction.

             R. Harcourt-Barn and carriage house, $350.

By Contractor E. Rounds

             Improvements to L.V. Garner’s neat premises on Merritt Street, consisting of lattice work, addition to barn, etc. With painting. Mr. Garner’s improvements the past year will be about $250.

             Frank Rounds, Seeley St.-Erection of a barn costing $200.

             Removal of house and building addition to barn of R. Cooper, North Main St., $200.

             Moving house on lot near Merritt St., building addition thereto, and general refitting-when completed will cost $700. (Property of Messrs.Rounds).

             Putting stone foundation under residence of John Phelps, Shotwell St. and building addition costing about $200.

             Erecting fence at old English Church Burying Ground, $60.

By Contractor Wm. Burgar

             Barn for D. Tufts, Division Street, in course of construction. Cost about $200.

             Residence for Andrew McQuinn, C & R Junction, 1 ½ storey frame, Cost about $700.

            Residence for Alex. McQuinn, Muir Street-one storey frame. Cost about $100.

            Large addition to Postmaster Burgar’s residence on Burgar Street. Frame two-storey 15×30; _architecture finished in red oak, cost about $1200.

             Bakery for James Morwood, Jane street. Cost about $200.

             New kitchen and other improvements to house on Dennistoun Street for Robt. McClelland . Cost about $200.

             P. McMurray-Extensive improvements to his stove and tin store. Plastering etc,, by Henry Hurst. Total cost about $550.

             Jacob Crow-Residence roofed, repainted etc., costing about $350.

By Dickenson & Suess

             Substantial frame residence for John Bender, Muir Street, cost about $1000.


             D. Kennedy-Fitting up new carriage shops, $200.

             Elias Holder-Brick residence on Hellems Avenue now in course of construction, about $1000. Ellsworth & Johnson have the contact work for carpenter work.

             Mr. Alex. Griffith has had one of Harris’ Hot-air Furnaces placed in his residence by Thos. Irwin & Son of Hamilton. This apparatus is fitted up with the most modern improvements and is one of the most complete hot-air systems in Canada. This, with other improvements, cost $250.

             T.W. Hooker-Brick barn. Cost about $700.

             Hobson Bros.-Improvements to Hobson Block, including stained glass window in Palace Drug Store, costing about $200.

             Mr. O.N. Garner-Residence on Randolph St., $250.

             Mr. James Spencer’s residence, East Main St.-New iron fence, painting etc., at a cost of about $125.

             Mr. F.M. Hagar, Merritt St., verandahs and other interior improvements about $200.

             Mr. Geo. Cronmiller Coffin storehouse, etc., costing about $100.

             Commodious brick residence for A. Hendershot, West Main, near Frazer. Two-storey flat tinned roof. Cost about $2000.

             Mr. Thos. Warner has improved his residence on Merritt Street by an addition, etc., costing about $250.

             M. Beatty & Sons-Core oven, $100.

             Jos. C. Page had had hot-water heating apparatus placed in his residence at a cost of about $300. By R.F. Carter, Niagara Falls.

             Orient Hall has been improved the past season to the extent of about $700. A new maple floor has been laid for roller skating; the stage rearranged and new scenery and drop curtain painted, etc., making this one of the coziest places of amusement in the province.

At the Court House and Gaol

             Steam heating apparatus has been constructed for the entire building by Contractor Carter-Costing $2775.

             Main roof rebuilt, cost $2500 including painting, etc., and gaol wing roofs made new at a cost of $300. By Contractor Vanderburgh.

             Minor improvements, say $225-making total expended on permanent improvements on county buildings, $6500.


Total, as given above $39,125
Approximate Expenditures on new aqueduct during the year 180,000
Tugs and scows, say 11,000
Corporation Expenditure on streets, &c., say 3,500

              With minor improvements making a grand total of fully $240,000 for the year.

Ghastly Find Among The Ashes


The Frazer House Stables and the Engine House Burned

             On Thursday “night” last week, a few minutes past 12M., Welland was startled by the unwonted alarm of fire, and a glance served to show that the “fire fiend” meant business. The fire broke out in the large frame barn in rear and belonging to the Frazer House and as soon as the alarm was given the whole structure was a mass of flames, extending immediately to the engine hall to the east, and to an ice house and small building used as a store-room for sleighs, etc. by the Messrs. White, to the west. Fortunately, owing to the calmness of the night and the stream of water supplied by the steamer, the conflagration was confined to these structures, and the fire in the engine house (used also as a council chamber) was extinguished leaving the building nearly a total wreck. The hose tower at the back was completely destroyed, and the fine town bell surmounting it, which in giving the alarm at the faithful Stogie’s hands, had actually sounded its own requiem, fell to the ground and was ruined.


             Among the ashes next day was found the charred trunk of a man, minus head and feet, which had been burned off. A clay pipe nearby explained the origin of the fire. The unfortunate man, there is good reason to suppose, was one Morrison, a tramp tailor. Morrison had previously worked for Mr. Whalley. He left town some weeks ago, returning on the night of the fire. He then engaged to work for Mr. Whalley and, being “dead broke” Mr. Whalley paid for his bed at Early’s hotel. Late at night, Morrison, then very drunk, returned to Mr. Whalley and said he could not get his bed at Early’s. Mr. Whalley, probably thinking Morrison was trying to get money for more liquor, paid but little attention to him, and he (Morrison) went off and has not been seen alive since. He had previously boarded at the Frazer House and applied there for board early in the evening, but could not get accommodations. Being acquainted with the premises, it is supposed, finding himself out all around, he sought the hospitality of the barn, to which he was no stranger. The pipe explains the rest. Morrison’s remains were given in charge of Mr. Cronmiller and interred in the old English Church burying ground on Sunday, underneath the corpse of the man Wright who was drowned on Friday evening. It only required a box about three feet long to contain the remains.


             The heaviest loss was born by Hyslop & Co., a wholesale fancy goods firm of Hamilton, whose peddling wagon with all its contents and a fine team of horses were totally destroyed. One of the horses, however, belonged to Roy McCrimmon, the traveler, or rather to his father, of Ancaster. Roy unfortunately had exchanged one of the firm’s horses for one of his father’s for the trip, thereby making a better matched span. Both horses were very valuable and it is reported that McCrimmon the elder rather objected to let his horse go, saying that it might be burned. Roy replied, “If it is, keep its value out of my salary.” Mr. McCrimmon says he started out with a $2000 outfit, and goes back with a not over bulky valise. The loss of the outfit and the horses is put at $1500 and no insurance.

             The Frazer House barn, owned by Mr. Joseph P. Brown of Niagara Falls, was not very valuable and the insurance upon it had been allowed to elapse.

             Of the town property, the building was insured for $1000, the bell for $200, about half its value. The building loss is more than the insurance. The town books and records were saved, the principal desk being brought out by Mr. Charles Asher alone after several others had refused to enter the room, the ceiling of which was all aflame and coals and cinders dropping in every direction. It will cost about $1000 to replace their property.

             The Fire Co., although not having much property actually consumed, had their chairs and other furniture sadly defaced and injured by the heat and water. They had in their hall a table with a marble top and the inevitable idiot was on hand to hurl it out of the second-storey window. Fortunately, however, it was not broken. No insurance.

             Messrs. Henderson and Wilson of the Frazer House lost two or three tons of hay and oats. They principally regret the loss of Hyslop & Co.’s outfit in their stables and the inconvenience of being deprived of stable accommodation for the time.

            Messrs. White lost a small building used as a store-room, and a few things. It will cost them about $100 to replace their property.

            Where a fire department is called out for actual service so seldom as ours has been, it is inevitable that the lack of practiced experience will be felt when the pinch occurs. Such proved the way here. Owing to the inadequacy of the alarm system a number of firemen did not get out, leaving the department short-handed. An attempt to work with an insufficient quantity of hose was first tried, by which the fire could not be reached to advantage until a stop was had and an additional length of hose inserted. An 11/4 nozzle was put on, such as used for drowning out fires. Had a smaller nozzle been used the stream of water could have been thrown too much greater height and precision. The lack of an efficient hook and ladder service was sadly felt. Hooks would have torn down the small buildings which proved a menace to the Messrs. White property, and thus have left the steamer free to devote all its attention to the town hall. A hook and ladder department to tear down burning walls and open up a way for the water is almost as essential as the steamer itself, a fact which would have still more, vividly impressed itself upon the public mind on this occasion had there been an east or north east wind instead of a dead calm. There is, in fact, little reason to doubt but that had the fire department been full, properly equipped and sharply managed, the town property could have been saved. Now that the mistakes and deficiencies of the fire service have been made apparent, it is to be hoped they will be remedied without a loss of time.


            The council have since met and appointed a committee which has attached a hammer for fire alarm to the bells upon the Methodist church and Army barracks.

Welland Tribune

26 September 1884

Fire: 19 September 1884