Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[WellandTribune, 23 May 1890]

(Content: Bavaria, Capt. McCullogh, schooner Jessie Breck, Wolfe Island, Thomas, Joseph, Wm. Mackie, Maria Mackie, Donald McDonald, Mullen, Frank George, Frank Mahaffey, Isaac May, Solid Comfort, Cutler of Welland, Pepper, Dickinson & Suess)

             Some two or three years ago the barge Bavaria went down the canal, and by accident paid her tug bill $10 short to Captain McCullogh. The Bavaria was lost with all hands, and in the cabin of the sunken ship was found a letter calling attention to the mistake and saying that the $10 would be paid…The other day the ill-fated schooner Breck went down and her master had over-paid Capt. McCullogh $1, and the crew of the Breck have found a watery grave.

              LOSS OF THE JENNIE BRECK AND ALL ON BOARD-On Saturday last the schooner Jessie Breck capsized in a gale off Wolfe Island, Lake Ontario, and all the crew were lost. The boat was loaded with oak timber from Toledo. The names of the lost are Thomas, Joseph and Wm. Mackie, captain, mate and seaman of the vessel; Maria Mackie the cook, three brothers and a sister; Donald McDonald, William and John Mullen and Frank George. All lived on Wolfe Island except the last named, and sad to relate the accident took place within sight of the home of the Mackies.

              FEARFUL ACCIDENT-An awful accident happened here on Wednesday evening. Mrs. Frank Mahaffey (widow) and her daughter are engaged as cooks on the barge Issac May, and while the boat was lying in the lock here, mother and daughter went ashore. They returned to the boat about 9 o’clock, and in the almost impenetrable darkness that surrounded this spot, Mrs. Mahaffey made a false step and fell between the boat and the lock wall. Aid was at hand instantly, and the lifeless body was recovered in about twenty minutes. The skull had been crushed in the fall and life was probably extinct before striking the water. The shrieks of the daughter, who witnessed the fatal affair, touched the stoutest hearts. Mrs. Mahaffey was forty-eight years of age and leaves two sons and two daughters, who have the heartfelt sympathy of our people in their terrible trial. The funeral will take place at 1 o’clock today (Friday).

              The club house of Solid Comfort was given into the hands of the contractor this week. The building will cost $6000 when completed, and contractor Cutler of Welland has the carpenter work-a large contract. The painting, etc., has not been let yet…Cottage No. 11, for Mr. Pepper of Memphis, have been let to Messrs. Dickinson & Suess. These will cost about $900 each. The cottages must be completed in four weeks, and the club house by July 1st.


[Welland Telegraph, 21 February 1890]

Mr. Elias Burgar’s Residence Destroyed


             About half past seven o’clock yesterday morning the alarm of fire was sounded by the town bell and Messrs. Beatty & Sons’ steam whistle, and a very few minutes both hose reels were at the scene of conflagration at Mr. Elias Burger’s residence, West Main street. When the firemen reached the spot the fire had spread behind the plaster and under the rafters, and was creating such dense volumes of smoke that an entry to the interior was an improbability. The flames had evidently started from the kitchen, but the immediate cause is unknown and probably always will be. Mr. Burgar had started a fire about seven o’clock and went out to do some chores, but before he had been ten minutes absent from the house he was summoned by his wife rapping violently on her room window; looking out he saw smoke coming from the roof of the kitchen, and not knowing the position of the flames feared to open the door. He got in at the window of Mrs. Burgar’s room and quieted her fears as much as possible, though she was very nervous, and had been confined to her bed by sickness for some months. By this time some of the neighbors arrived and the sick woman was carried as carefully as possible into Mr. Shanahan’s residence, but the nervous shock left her very weak. Miss Crow who lived in the house occupied a room upstairs, and before she could get out she was nearly suffocated by the smoke and was rescued with some difficulty. The smoke was so dense that it was for a time impossible for the firemen to enter and the hose was turned on the outside with very little effect, as the absence of ladders and appliances to break a hole in the walls prevented their entry. It was probably half an hour before the smoke was sufficiently subdued to allow a successful effort at saving the contents, and by that time much was destroyed and badly damaged. People worked with a will, however, using every possible care in removing the furniture as soon as they could get at it. A large amount of clothing and bedding was completely destroyed, and Mr. Burgar’s secretary, in which he kept his papers, is included in the loss.

             The building is badly wrecked; the kitchen roof is completely destroyed and the walls and partitions are badly damaged. The house was erected by Mr. J.W. Jackson some 10 or 12 years ago, at a cost of between $2500 and $3000. Mr. Burgar purchased it some 4 years ago, and carried an insurance of $1600 in the mercantile and $400 in the Queens on contents. He can as yet hardly form an estimate of his loss, but it will not be less than $1200.


Mr. Burgar will rebuild the house as soon as the insurance is adjusted.

The water pressure was adequate to the demand, but was not as good as usual.

The firemen were furnished with hot tea and coffee by some of the residents nearby.

The need of a thoroughly organized hook and ladder company was well demonstrated.

Mr. C.J. Page was a good mark for the branchman and he made a bull’s eye at the first squirt.

The fire bell roused a good many easy going citizens who had “just turned over for another nap”

Had a regular fire alarm system been in use the alarm might have been sounded 10 minutes earlier.

Fire: 20 February 1890


[Welland Tribune, 3 January 1890]

              The old log cabin which stood in the field west of Mr. D. McConachie’s residence in the fourth ward was burned on Sunday morning about 9.30 o’clock.  The cabin was a relic of Welland’s pioneer days. At one time it was the home of that noted colored character the late “old Black Joe.” Since then Aunt Chloe has lived in the log house; but all tenants had deserted it of late years, and it was unoccupied when burned. It is supposed that tramps set it on fire. The fire department was called out, but they did not pull their carts through the mud. The old hut was not worth the trouble.

Fire: 29 December 1889

Early’s White Elephant

             At last Welland has bid farewell to Mr. Early’s mammoth hog. On this occasion Mr. Early has been fortunate. He has disposed of his hog profitably. The temperance lecturer Doutney has taken charge of his hogship for exhibition purposes, and is no doubt dreaming of skekels and nickels pouring in as the result of the venture. Mr. Early raised the 1050 lb. hog. Some time in October 1886, his hogship first looked upon life and squeaked his first squeak and grunted his first grunt, little dreaming of the glorious future in store for him. The animal being well fed and lineally descended, from ancient families of respectable grand-hogs, the Chester White and Byfield, he grew, prospered and snored. He was never neglected. His path so far has been strewn with roses. People from near and far came to see him, praised his inimitable size and general appearance, and complimented Mr. Early, while sipping their lager, upon the phenomenal hog in his possession. Not one of those gushing admirers felt like buying him, although they could all suggest ways in which Mr. Early could profitably use his hogship. Finally, the temperance lecturer, with “special methods” came around and looked at his hogship. That settled the business. Welland was too small for his hogship after that discerning speculative glance cast upon him by Mr. Doutney, of the “Doutney Temperance Movement.” He was bought at $100, and “Charlie,” his keeper, was hired at a good wage to attend him and follow his fortunes. It is to be hoped his hogship will fare better than “Charlie” at the hands of the temperance lecturer. The hog was bought and paid for and taken away, but Charlie was left and only paid 25¢ for three weeks’ waiting upon what is and was the admiration of many of his more fortunate fellow beings. When the mammoth hog left Welland he measured 7 ft 6 5/8 of an inch from snout to tail, his girth was 7 ft around the body, 5 ft around the neck, and he stood 3 ft 10 inches in his stocking feet. It was a job to move him to the station. At first Mr. James Potts, carpenter, was engaged to make a cage for his hogship. The cage measured 8 ft 6 in long by 4 ft 3 in wide, weighing 800 lbs alone. When they got him to the M.C.R. depot the cage was found to be too large to be put on any car there at the disposal of the M.C.R. Potts was again called upon and had to reduce the size of the cage to mere standing room for its occupant. Jumbo is now gone, with the good wishes of all who knew him, and of the tearful, affectionate and disappointed Charlie. Jumbo has gone to New York; Charlie is in Welland, with his future before him. Sic transit gloria mundi.


Welland, Jan. 1st 1890

Welland Tribune

10 January 1890