Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

About 12 o’clock on Thursday night last week, a dastardly attempt was made to burn the steamer Garden City, now lying at Port Dalhousie. Two men who were fishing in the harbor saw someone drive up in a buggy, and fearing it was the fisheries inspector, went to a place of hiding. The man went away in about twenty minutes and the fisherman returned to their nets. Shortly after they discovered a fire breaking out on the deck of the steamer Garden City. The fishermen at once notified the canalmen nearby, and the fire was extinguished before much damage was done. A pile of charred shavings and cotton waste saturated with coal oil was found on the deck, and a broken bottle which has contained coal oil.


[Welland Tribune, 2 April 1897]

Editor Welland Tribune:
Niagara Falls, Ont..,
24th March, 1897

DEAR SIR,- I would like to see the influence of the TRIBUNE enlisted in the cause of good roads and would suggest that I call the attention of all pathmasters in the county to the importance of scraping the roads at the earliest possible moment after they become dry enough. To anyone who takes an interest in the subject it must be apparent that much of the statute labor is worse than a farce, but a timely use of a scraper before the roads become hard in an absolute necessity on clay roads if they are to be smooth for the summer. The labor required for this kind of road work is insignificant and the results as compared with the usual plowing and scraping are so marked that the wonder is that it should be necessary to urge pathmasters to put it in practice. There is probably not one section of road in ten that ever has a scraping in the spring. I would suggest that you put a few lines on the subject along with the matter from your different country correspondents each week from now until the roads become too hard to scrape. In this way the matter would force itself upon those whose business it is to give us good roads but who as a rule do more harm than good.

Yours truly

E.W. Tench


Paper Read at the Meeting of the Canadian Institute-Career of the Noted Indian

[Welland Tribune, 9 April 1897]

At the regular meeting of the Canadian Institute held on Saturday night in Toronto, a paper was read by E. Cruishank of Fort Erie, on the life of Joseph Brant. After commencing upon the inadequacy of Mr. Stone’s “Life of Brant,” due to the want of materials which have become accessible since its publication, the paper, which was almost entirely based on documents in the Canadian archives, described Brant’s career in considerable detail, from his birth in 1742 to the middle of the year 1779.

After receiving a fair education at a school in Lebanon, Conn., Brant was engaged as an interpreter in the Indian department at the age of twenty. He distinguished himself by his religious zeal, and was employed by Rev. John Stuart to translate part of the New Testament, the Catechism and a number of sermons into Mohawk. At the commencement of the American Revolution he accompanied Colonel Guy Johnson to Quebec and thence to England, as a representative of his tribe. He was presented to the king, his portrait was painted by Romney, and sketch of his life appeared in the London Magazine, at the instance of James Boswell. On their way back to America the vessel was attacked by a privateer, and Brant was afforded an opportunity of displaying his courage and skill as a marksman. He was present with the British forces at the battle of Long Island as a volunteer, and attracted the attention of Lord Percy. After remaining at New York for two months, he undertook to penetrate through the enemy’s lines to the Indian villages, accompanied by a single companion. He then went from village to village, inciting the Indians to combine against the Americans.  Brant took part in the siege of Fort Stanwix and battle of Oriskany, and subsequently joined General Burgoyne’s army on the Hudson. After the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, he returned to Niagara, and organized a successful expedition against Schobarie. This was followed by similar enterprises directed against the German Flats, Cherry Valley and Minnesink, in all of which he took an active part and largely contributed to their success.


[Welland Tribune, 9 April 1897]

Thomas Hicks and Henry Boyd appeared before the board to complain of Principal Woodworth sending their boys home without sufficient cause, as they alleged. Mr. Boyd also complained that his boy did not get proper credit for work done.

Mr. Woodworth replied that the immediate cause of the boys being sent home was their scuffling in school, but a worse complaint he had against them was that they would not get up their work. He did not believe the Boyd boy did not get proper credit for work done, although an exceptional case of that kind was, of course, possible in any school. He did not think he should be expected to pound boys nearly as big as himself, and he had tried isolating them and other minor punishments without effect.

After some rather good-natured discussion for a subject of so ticklish a nature, the matter was dropped on the understanding that children should not be sent home except in extreme cases, the parents also agreeing, in this case, if notified, to “attend to” the discipline of the boys.


[Welland Tribune, 9 April 1897]

Thos. Gracey has moved on Mrs. A.B. Kinsman’s farm, in house lately occupied by Samuel Gould, now living in Welland. Fred Fisher and family have moved in the house which Mr. Gracey vacated.

Fonthill News

[Welland Tribune, 26 March 1897]

Joseph Gould has sold his farm to James Davis, the place where Alex. Goring now lives on. Mr. Gould is to take the house and lot where Mr. Davis now lives, known as the Reavely property, as part payment.

R.J. King, who drives team for the Morris, Stone & Wellington nursery, will move to Fonthill, to live in the house formerly occupied by Jas. Hansel, rented from H.G. Self.


Fonthill News

[Welland Tribune, 1 October 1897]

The house and blacksmith shop of Wm. Dougherty were totally destroyed by fire on Saturday evening. The fire originated in the kitchen, from a lamp, and quickly spread through the house.

A brave attempt was made to save the blacksmith shop, but to no avail. Andrew Lymburner’s house was only saved by the indefatigable work of the citizens, who formed themselves in to a pail brigade and did yeoman service. Mr. Dougherty will be a heavy loser, as all his furniture, bedding, etc., was destroyed. The insurance on the place will not more than cover the mortgage on it, so that Mr. Dougherty is not only left penniless, but entirely destitute, his clothing even being burned. Mr. Dougherty is a good mechanic, however, and if he will attend to business properly will receive the active support of the village.


Fonthill News

[Welland Tribune, 8 October 1897]

Dougherty, our blacksmith, has hired a residence of Joe Gould and moved in, and the first of next week will have his new blacksmith shop ready for patrons. He is hustling right sharp. Give him a call for horseshoeing and blacksmithing-the fellow has had hard luck from the fire fiend.


Important Statement by Mr. Tarte.

[Welland Tribune, 24 September 1897]

Hon. Mr. Tarte, minister of public works of Canada, having been charged with excessive expenditure in his department, and on promising the prosecution of public works on too lavish a scale, makes a trenchant reply, in which the following of especial local interest appears. Mr. Tarte says:

“I altogether decline being bound by the policy of the past, and also by the opinion of those who have propounded that policy. Times and circumstances have changed. We are deepening our canals. We will be obliged, I am sure, to deepen the Welland canal in a short time. The railway companies are building elevators in the harbors of the Great Lakes. The C.P.R. are building an additional elevator at Owen Sound. The Grand Trunk, in connection with other capitalists, are also contemplating building an elevator on the south side of the same harbor.

I am a firm believer in the possibility of diverting an immense quantity of western traffic to our Canadian ports, harbors and railways. I do not see why, having the ports of St. John, Halifax, St. Andrew’s, on our national territory, we should allow our Canadian trade to be shipped to European markets through American ports.”

All Mr. Tarte’s speeches are of this tone. Mr. Tarte says that the reason he takes this tone is, to quote his letter, that “Canada is such a great country, with such abundant resources, that we might well afford to take stock of the future.”

Referring to the charge of lavish expenditure by Mr. Tarte’s department for the year that is past, he further says:-

“You may say that my lavishness is a matter of general criticism. Will you permit me to call your attention to hard facts:

Parliament voted for my department, for the year 1896-97, an appropriation of…$2,439,920

Out of that expropriation I have expended during the last year…$1,748,939

Saving a balance of …..$690,981.

“I need not make any comments. I beg, moreover, to state that I have economized over sixty thousand dollars on the administrative part of my department alone, by decreasing the number of employees by saving salaries, wages, etc.

So much for my administration during last year.”



Grand Trunk’s Preparations for the Formal Opening of the New Steel Arch Bridge

[Welland Tribune, 24 September 1897]

At the present time the eyes of the whole world are directed towards Canada. The remarkable successes which have attended the visit to England of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the premier of the Dominion, and the denunciation of Great Britain of important commercial treaties with such powerful neighbors as Germany and Belgium in order to meet the overtures of the colony, have caused the politicians of the old world to regard with a novel interest that portion of the new which Voltaire once sneeringly gibed at as “a few acres of snow and ice.” Nor has the interest been confined to countries of the old world, the people of the republic to the south having been startled by the announcement of the discovery of large quantities of gold within the confines of the Dominion.

Scientists and members of the learned professions have flocked to the country to hold their annual conventions, and examine for themselves its resources.

Among the many corporations which have done much to retain the interest thus aroused, the Grand Trunk railway system, under its new and energetic management, takes a foremost place. The work undertaken in connection with the substitution of a modern structure for the old Victoria tubular bridge over the St. Lawrence has excited the utmost interest among civil engineers the world over, while the completion of the Grand Trunk new single arch steel bridge over the Niagara river, which replaces the historic Suspension bridge, is the talk of railway officials from one end of the continent to the other. That the latter structure, which, at the time of its erection in 1855 was considered-and justly-a marvel of engineering skill, should have been entirely replaced upon exactly the same spot, without an interruption of even five minutes to the constant stream of traffic which passes over it, is without doubt a remarkable tribute to the advances which have been made by the engineering profession within the last quarter of a century. The new bridge is a single steel arch of 550 feet in length, supplemented by a trussed span at either end, of 115 feet in length, so that, with the approaches, its total length is a little more than 1100 feet, while the railway tracks are 250 above the water. It has two docks or floors, the upper being used for railway purposes exclusively, while the lower contains a wide central carriage way, double electric car tracks, and passage way for pedestrians.

Beautiful as it is in appearance, the bridge is of enormous strength, it having been designed to carry on each railway track a load of two locomotives and four pairs of drivers each and 40,000 pounds on each pair, followed by a train of 3,500 pounds per running foot, while on the lower deck is designed to carry a live load of 3,000 pounds per running foot. In a word, it will sustain a weight of over six times the sustaining capacity of the old bridge.

The opening celebrations in connection with this great engineering feat commenced yesterday and will be continued today and tomorrow, and the management of the Grand Trunk railway system has determined to give a carnival at the Falls which will long be talked of by those who take advantage of the remarkably low rates which are being put in force for this occasion.

This carnival, which will be held for the whole three days, will consist of open air variety entertainments from two large elevated platforms, one of which will be on the American, and the other on the Canadian side of the river, open air dancing to the strains of the best bands obtainable in the country, old English sports, climbing the greasy poles, sack race and egg races, etc., for which cash prizes will be offered. This evening and tomorrow evening an elaborate display of fireworks from the new bridge will be given, and will be without doubt the grandest display ever witnessed with possibly the exception of that given at the World’s Fair in Chicago. The illuminations and fireworks are under the personal direction of Mr. Henry J. Pain, the leading pyrotechnic contractor of the world.

The artists who have been engaged for the variety entertainment area all well known, and four of the most famous military bands in America have been engaged, to give concerts in the afternoon and evening of each day. During the three days’ carnival the bridge will be open for the free passage of the public to and fro as they please.

To those who have never visited that greatest of nature’s many marvels-Niagara-the extremely low rates which are being made from every point on their lines by the Grand Trunk system, should prove a temptation too strong to be resisted, while to those who have visited the great falls by day, the prospect of seeing them one blaze of electricity and colored light will appear, without doubt, successfully.


Successfully Launched in Toronto Bay

A New Departure in Marine Construction

[Welland Tribune, 24 September 1897]

Toronto, Ont., Sept. 9th- Frederick Augustus Knapp’s much-talked-of roller boat, which has been under construction in Polson’s shipyard here for some time past, is now afloat in Toronto Bay. All yesterday morning workmen were busy getting the ways in place, and in the afternoon the big cylinder was gently lowered into the water, where it now floats alongside the dock at Polson’s yard.

The vessel is cylindrical in shape, and is 110 feet long and about 25 feet in diameter. The diameter is the same to within five feet of either end, when the cylinder commences to taper rapidly, decreasing to a diameter of 15 feet at either end. The draught will be 23 inches.

The original design of the inventor has been considerably changed. Instead of having a heavy stationery cylinder, around which the outer part could revolve, as at first intended, there is nothing at all in the centre of the hull. At either end and there is to be a platform, resting upon wheels, which touch the revolving part. This platform will be weighed and remain stationary, upon the principle of a squirrel in a cage. On the platform will be placed two engines, with upright boilers behind them. These engines will transmit power to a huge driving wheel placed between, and this wheel will, by a system of cogs, cause the hull to revolve. There will be a platform similarly equipped at each end of the hull. The platforms each travel on four big driving wheels and weigh about fifteen tons, with engines and boilers complete.

Mr. Knapp proposes to suspend the platforms and was swinging gravity, but has allowed the engineers in charge of the construction to use the direct application. The whole craft will weigh 100 tons, and 500 square feet of area will be in actual contact with the water.

The boat, which is expected by its inventor to travel as the rate of a mile a minute, will be steered by two huge rudder or tail boards, one at each end, just below the platform. Steam steering gear will likely be used.