Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


Severe Weather interfered With Series of Winter Meetings

R.B. Fitzgerald of Fenwick the New President of Welland County Board of Agriculture

[Welland Telegraph, 25 June 1918]

At the annual meeting of the Welland County Board of Agriculture held on Friday afternoon, it was decided to hold the annual picnic this year at Crystal Beach, as in former years. A representative of the Erie Beach Company was present and made an offer of $100 for the picnic, but his majority of the directors felt that Crystal Beach was more centrally located.

H.H. Beam, president, in opening the session, referred to the successful year’s work that had been accomplished. The severe winter, however, had interfered with the series of winter meetings. Not only were some meetings slimly attended because of the storms, but in other cases the speakers could not reach the places and the fixtures had to be cancelled. The total attendance at all the meetings was 395.

The executive committee reported that only two young farmers took advantage of the offer of the board to accept loans for the purchase of breeding sows to the amount of two-thirds of the value. The money advanced is to be returned by the end of this year with interest at 3 p.c.

Officers for the current year were elected as follows:-

Pres- R.B. Fitzgerald, Fenwick.

Vice Pres- A.E. Lawrence, Thorold Twp.

Secy. Treas- W.H. Gainer, Welland.

Executive Committee- E.K. Hampson, W.L. Houck.

Auditors- H.B. Sidey, L.B. Duff.

Winter meetings will be held at the following places next season:-

Fenwick, Marshville, Burnaby, Ridgeway, Stevensville, Humberstone Tp. Hall, Gas Line, Brookfield School, Crowland Tp. Hall, Willoughby Tp. Hall, Southend, Port Robinson, Fonthill.

In the past year, the Board made a grant of $10 each to 13 branches of the Women’s Institute for Red Cross work, and advanced $69 to young farmers to buy breeding sows. The year began with a balance on hand of $672, and closed with $565.


Surrounding Buildings Saved With Difficulty-About $5000 Loss to Mr. Rounds

[People’s Press, 4 June 1918]

              On Sunday afternoon, Rounds’ lumber warehouse on the North side of the Welland River on North Main was completely destroyed by fire. Hundreds of people who were out in summer attire, it being a beautiful day, were attracted to the spot, and it was a large concourse of people who watched the Welland fire brigade saving the surrounding buildings. The big warehouse it was impossible to save. The Welland brigade were in full force on the ground, and were using the hose within about ten minutes from the time the alarm was sounded. The fire broke out in an extraordinary way. Passers by ten minutes before the whole warehouse was ablaze declare they saw no sign of the building being alight. The warehouse was stocked with furnishings, mouldings, and prepared lumber for buildings, etc., the whole stock being valued at about $10,000. The whole building and stock quickly were in one fierce blaze. The brigade saw that no force of water available could put out that blaze in time to save any of the stock or building. Then work was necessarily directed upon the large barn close by. In that barn there were two valuable horses which Mr. Rounds and one of his men got out just in time.

One horse went out quietly, but the other gave some difficulty. However, the animal was rescued and then Rounds and his companion went back into the barn. At the moment they entered a small hole was burnt through the roof, right above a large stack of hay. By throwing water on from the inside at that point, and the shower from the brigade’s hose then increasing in volume, the outbreak at that point was luckily beaten. The whole job of saving the surrounding buildings was an equally strong fight. Mr. Rounds speaks most highly for the skill, courage, and hard work the brigade boys put in, and he has asked us to publicly express his admiration of the brigade and gratitude for the good work they did. As it is his insurance will cover only about half the loss, so that he is likely to be about $5000 to the bad. But for the good work of the brigade, his loss would be much heavier. Rounds had a considerable loss once before, but that was away back in 1886, when a warehouse in the same spot was destroyed. At that time there was no insurance on the buildings so his loss was total. The origin of Sunday’s fire is a mystery.


G. Franklin Sutherland Now Sole Owner of the Business of Sutherland & Son

[Welland Telegraph, 3 December 1918]

              An important business change went into effect yesterday morning when G. Franklin Sutherland took full ownership and control of the well known firm of Sutherland & Son, undertakers and furniture dealers, buying out the interest of his father, George W. Sutherland.

             This business was established a quarter of a century ago by the late Alfred Lawrence. Fifteen years ago he took George W. Sutherland into partnership, the firm being known as Lawrence & Sutherland. Eleven years ago, Mr. Lawrence sold out to Mr. Sutherland, and four years ago, Mr. Sutherland took his son into partnership.

             Mr. Sutherland states he will take a holiday next year.


Many Thousands of Dollars Damage Done to Buildings, Stock and Machinery in Big Fire That Broke Out at 7:30 Last Friday Night


Fire Was Particularly Hard to Fight-Firemen Were Hampered by Inadequate Equipment, Having to Borrow Ladders-Mill is Still Doing Business and Repairs Will be Effected at Once

[People’s Press,  10 December 1918]

              Last Friday night about half past seven a disastrous fire broke out in the Maple Leaf Milling Company’s plant here which caused a tremendous loss to the building, machinery and stock of the company. The loss is estimated variously at between $50,000 and $100,000, but is well covered by insurance. The fire started near the roof in the north west corner of the mill and before it could be reached had spread well over the entire mill. Owing to the location of the fire and the poor equipment at the disposal of the fire brigade, the fire company experienced very considerable difficulty in handling the blaze, and it was only through their strenuous effort that the damage was not greater. At noon yesterday adjusters from the insurance companies arrived to compute the damage done.

             According to the watchman who discovered the fire, he had been at the place where the fire is supposed to have first broken out, about twenty minutes before he noticed it. After visiting the place on his rounds he smelled smoke, and while trying to locate the smoke, he saw flames burst out. Chief Stapf attributes the fire to spontaneous combustion.

             Upon the arrival of the fire brigade, the fire was found to have gained considerable headway. Great dense clouds of smoke filled the upper storeys of the mill making it extremely difficult to direct the streams where most needed. Also, at the first, the water pressure was not sufficient, although later on the pressure was good. The firemen however made a determined fight and after a couple of hours strenuous work managed to get the conflagration under control by fighting  it across the building and finally extinguishing it on the side opposite to that on which it started. In the meantime however, the entire machinery with which the mill had recently been equipped was destroyed, in addition to the damage to the building which is also considerable.

             In addition to the damage to the machinery and building, there were forty thousand bushels of wheat in the mill, most of which is a total loss. Varying quantities of other grains and manufactured products were also lost.

             Throughout the duration of the fire there about forty men working under the direction of Fire Chief Stapf, thirty-five of the town volunteer brigade and about ten men from the Plymouth Cordage Company’s brigade, who volunteered to help. The brigade of the Empire Cotton Mills also offered their assistance.

             The firemen found themselves sadly handicapped through not having proper appliances with which to reach the fire. Their ladders, particularly, were deficient, and it was found necessary to borrow four or five forty foot extension ladders from citizens in the neighborhood. Other equipment was also lacking, trouble having been experienced in not having proper appliances for the manipulation of the hose lines.

             Mr. Robert Cooper, manager of the mill, was out of town when the fire commenced and returned about nine o’clock, when the blaze was at its worst. Speaking to the Tribune after the fire, Mr. Cooper stated that the mill would continue open as usual, having large stocks of products still on hand for sale. He also stated that as soon as practicable the damage to the building would be repaired, and equipment would be installed.

             Had Friday night not been as exceptionally calm night the entire block on East Main Street in which the mill is situated would have caught fire. But the almost imperceptible wind carried no sparks and the fact that the roofs and buildings were covered with an adequate layer of soft snow prevented any other fires from breaking out.

Fire: 6 December 1918


Building was Owned by the Government and Was Worth $5,000

             The fine old country home, known as the Hagar place, on the Island, south of Welland, was destroyed by fire about 2 o’clock on Sunday morning.

             The cause of the fire is unknown, but it is presumed some boys or men had been in the house in the evening and had lighted a fire in one of the fireplaces.

             The house was built over a half a century ago by the late Jonathan Hagar and it had many of the characteristics of the houses of the time-large and roomy and so well built as to stand as strong and true at the end of fifty years as at the beginning.

             The house is owned by the Dominion government and for some years has been vacant.

             Five thousand dollars would not replace it.

Welland Telegraph

12 February 1918

Fire: 10 February 1918