Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


Fonthill News

[People’s Press, 11 April 1907]

The first trolley car passed through Fonthill Monday morning amid much excitement. The flags flew and the crowd cheered. Several of the Fonthill citizens went down on the car for their first trip.


H.W. Macoomb’s House Has Narrow Escape From Second Destruction by Fire.

Damage May be $1500

[Welland Tribune, 6 December 1907]

Shortly before eight o’clock on Tuesday evening, Mrs. Macoomb, who was in the drawing room of their home on Division street, noticed an odor of something burning. Mr. Macoomb ran upstairs and discovered smoke issuing from the hot air register in the hallway. He picked up their young son Hudson, who was sleeping in the bedroom on the left and sent word across the street to Mr. Chas. Rice to send in an alarm.

The firemen and a large number of willing helpers were on hand immediately, but to get at the fire was quite a different problem. It was seen that there was fire underneath the floor all the way from the main furnace hot air flue in the hallway over to the register at the other side of the bedroom where Hudson had been. To break in this strip of hardwood flooring was hard work, but it was eventually accomplished and sufficient water was poured in with the hose to flood out the fire.

The damage by the fire alone was not so great as that caused by water and the breaking of the floors to get at the fire.

Fortunately everything downstairs was safely got out of the way before the water started to run through the ceilings.

The total extent of the damage would probably be $1600 to $1500 and was fully covered by insurance.

The damage extended to the upstairs flooring in the bedroom and hall, the ceilings of the hall, the dining room and sitting room and some articles in the bedroom which were scorched.

One of the incidents of the occurrence was that the maid, who was handed the jewel case to look after, took it outside and laid it on the ground. Later on it was discovered broken to pieces, and the contents were scattered about the ground, but on carefully searching, everything was recovered.

The firemen were hardly able to work in the dense smoke for a time, and some of the men were obliged to get out into the fresh air.

The water caused the electric current to become diffused throughout the building, so that shocks could be felt from the walls, and Messrs. Page and Houston had a difficult task to get up into the smoky attic and throw off the switch.

It is fortunate indeed that the fire did not break out in the night, or at a time when it would not have been so readily detected.

The furnace was run with gas last winter, but this fall Mr. Macoomb has been using coal, and there is no doubt the fire was caused by a defective hot air conductor.

Mr. and Mrs. Macoomb have taken up their residence in the Rectory for the winter.


[People’s Press, 3 December 1907]

Mr. Ross, superintendent of the Supreme Heating Company, arrived last week from Qunicey, Ill., and arrangements are being made for the commencing of manufacturing operations in the near future. A full set of stove patterns have now been received, also two cars of pig, iron and coke, coal, etc.


The Hooker Survey

[People’s Press, 31 December 1907]

Mr. D.D. Hooker has had surveyed and opened for sale an eligible section for residential buildings in the Third Ward (Welland). Two new streets are laid out, parallel with and south of Maple avenue (formerly Jane street). The first street south of Maple avenue is called Hooker street, and the other Edward street. Fraser street and Queen street will be extended southward to connect with Hooker and Edward streets. Part of the land comprised in the plan was formerly the brickyard, which has been moved to a new location farther south and west. The tract will have sewage outlet through the Denistoun street sewer.

The location is a very central and desirable one, and will be more so when the trolley comes to town, and still more so should a new bridge be placed across the canal near the Beatty works, as will be required in the not distant future.

Already five lots on Hooker street and the Queen street extension have been sold. Mr. Cunningham of the county of Oxford is the purchaser. He intends building good houses upon them in the spring,-in fact, Mr. Hooker intends making it a condition of sale and purchase that only good, creditable buildings shall be built-no shacks allowed.


E.H. Clark’s Barn Burned

[People’s Press, 18 June 1907]

The large barn, drive-house and stables of E.H. Clark, (formerly the Jesse Skinner place) at Crowland Centre, were destroyed by fire on Saturday last.

Some of the contents were also burned, including a mower, two pigs and some poultry; also a pair of bob-sleighs and a rig belonging to a neighbor, Job McCauley, which has been stored in the barn.

The origin of the fire is unknown. It is reported there was some insurance.


Three G.T.R. Freight Cars Make the Plunge

[People’s Press, 18 June 1907]

Niagara Falls, June 15- an accident which many people have feared might happen some day, occurred this morning at Niagara Falls. A heavy freight train was coming across the Grand Trunk steel arch bridge into Canada, when, in some mysterious manner, three of the cars, when right in the centre of the bridge, jumped the track. They keeled over and fell into the pedestrian compartment of the bridge underneath, demolishing the railing, and then dropped into the river several feet below.

The rest of the train kept the track. A brakeman, who had been standing on top of a car towards the rear of the train, heard a bumping on ahead and surmising that a brake team had dropped down and there was bound to be a smash, he jumped from the car in time to save himself had the whole train gone down over the side of the bridge.

The bridge was badly damaged, but traffic was not blocked for any length of time. A brake beam dropping in all probability caused the accident.


Niagara Falls, June 16- There is now reason to believe that two lives were lost when the three freight cars dashed off the railway arch bridge into the Whirlpool rapids yesterday morning. The supposed victims are two unknown men, probably tramps. When the train, of which the lost cars formed part, was pulling out of Suspension Bridge yards two men were seen to board it and get into one of the empty cars which went down into the gorge a few minutes later. No one saw them leave the cars. It is doubtful if they got away. After their derailment the cars ran close to the railing of the bridge, and to jump then would be certain destruction. If the two men stayed in the cars they went with them in that awful leap to the rapids, over two hundred feet below.


Remarkable Progress Being Made on Supreme Heating Co.’s Plant

[People’s Press, 18 June 1907]

The Supreme heating Company have made a wonderful record in the building of their plant, having practically erected a building 202 ft. x 50 ft. in a week.

Work was commenced yesterday on the construction of the carpenter shop, and the building will all be completed inside of two weeks more.

When tenders were called for this work the lowest bid was $14,000, and the time asked for completion was four months.

The company will have required only three weeks to build it themselves, and the cost will be about $9,000.

Mr. Hampton assures the Press that stoves will be turned out in Welland on August 15th.


Negotiations With Welland at a Stand-Still Because of Absence of the President

[Welland Telegraph, 13 August 1907]

Arrangements for the bringing of the electric railway to Welland are not progressing as satisfactory as many Wellanders would wish. Six weeks ago The Telegraph said something caustic about the bashfulness of the railway company in seeking a Welland entrance. A few days later E.F. Sexias, manager, and John Paul, traffic agent , actually came to Welland and opened negotiations.

These gentlemen explained to The Telegraph that the delay had been wholly on the part of the municipality and there was more truth than poetry in that too. However, since all parties were desirous of doing business at once, it was expected that the matter would be promptly closed up.

The energetic committee of the Board of Trade got busy, arranged the plans, consulted the property owners and had their scheme approved by the Town Council. It was at once forwarded to the railway company, who had promised a consultation immediately upon its receipt. That was over a month ago. Since then absolutely no tidings have been received from the company. The Telegraph called up the St. Catharines office this morning and was told that the Welland proposition had been sent to the head office and that the delay was probably due to the absence of the president on his vacation.

Rails have been laid on the Fonthill-Welland division as far as Quaker Road, and this portion of the work is being proceeded with. There is a tie-up, however, so far as the wiring is concerned. The manufacturers of wire are away behind with their orders and it is impossible to get a shipment. Wahl’s bus line had been given the contract for transportation of passengers to and from town to the car line.

Bridge Damaged

[The Waterford Star, May 9, 1907]

Welland, May 4—Passenger traffic on the eastern section of the Michigan Central’s Canada division had to be detoured over the Wabash tracks between Buffalo and Canfield Junction, while freight traffic is stopped entirely, as the result of an accident which badly wrecked the company’s drawbridge across the Welland canal, at 3 o’clock this morning, and put that structure temporarily out of business.

A boat passing along the canal, ran into the bridge, owing, it is believed, to a misunderstanding of signals. The railway at once set a gang of men at work repairing the structure, and expect that the westbound track will be in use by tonight. It may take some days to repair the other track, which is in bad shape.

Tried to Wreck Express

[The Waterford Star, Oct. 31, 1907]

Welland, Oct 23—An attempt to wreck a Michigan Central train about half a mile west of Welland was made Sunday night. About 9;30 Miss Sweeney, a school teacher residing about three miles west of Welland, while walking to town discovered a large quantity of iron piled on the tracks. She quickly removed several pieces, all of them that she could lift, and hurried to the tower-house at the Michigan Central bridge which crosses the canal at that point, and told the men in charge there what she had discovered.

The fast express, No.3, was just due and the semaphore lights were thrown against the train barely in time to bring it to a stop. The men then hurried on a handcar to the place and found two rail-spreaders and a fishplate placed on the inside of the rail in a manner that would almost assuredly have thrown the express train into the deep ditch. The obstructions were removed and the express proceeded on its way.

A force of detectives has been in Welland working on the matter and Edward Palmer, an English boy, aged about 15 years was placed in the county jail last night, and will have to answer to the charge of placing the obstructions on the track. The boy has made a clean breast of his part in the affair. He says, however, he did it with no thought that any damage would result.