Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland


[The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 13 November 1923]

              Getting out of her course while proceeding down the canal, bound from Port Colborne to Montreal, the steamer Ben Maple ran into the steel piling surrounding the abutment of the canal bridge on the east side of the canal at Port Robinson, Thursday evening. Fortunately there was little damage done.

             Warnings were sounded by the tug Brant, which was towing two scows in the opposite direction. The bridge tenders also waved their lanterns in an endeavor to prevent the crash.

             The noise of the impact could be heard practically over the whole of the village.


[The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 20 November 1923]

              W.J. Best & Son yesterday took over from A.A. Perry & Co., the book and stationery business established on East Main St. sixteen years ago by the late Mr. Perry and which has been conducted by Mrs. Perry since his death two years go.

             Of the new organization, the senior member, Wm. J. Best, is one of the city’s oldest and best known business men, he having for many years been the proprietor of a meat market, retiring from that line a number of years ago, since which he has devoted his time to his extensive private interests. He is now a member of the Welland Hydro-Electric Commission, and has served the city as a member of council and in the mayoralty chair.

             His son is also well known among the younger element of the city, and the firm boasts a personnel that should insure a continuance of the successful record the business has shown in the past.


Wooden Bridge Ablaze From a Grass Fire Set Out by Boys

[The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 3 May 1923]

              The fire-fighters were called to the Naval Brigade premises late yesterday afternoon to put out a blaze that would have spread but for quick action. Some of the Brigade boys cleaning up set fire to a pile of grass. The wind caught it and lifted it into the old raceway, which being saturated with oil, instantly blazed up. The wooden bridge, leading to the brigade headquarters, also caught fire but the firemen with the aid of chemicals extinguished the flames in a few minutes. Practically no damage was done.


 [The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 23 January 1923]

              Those present at the demonstration of modern telephony in this city last week and every telephone user of Welland, which includes practically every one able to talk, whether subscriber or not, would be interested in a small volume bearing the date of November 1896, and comprising the Subscriber’s Directory of the Eastern Exchanges of the Bell Telephone Co., of that year, which marked the inauguration of local telephone service.

             This diminutive volume, it being but 41/4 x 71/2 inches, contains 151 pages and lists the subscribers in the area from Collingwood to Belleville, saving Hamilton and Toronto. The type is large and the names are set single column on the pages, a good proportion of their size being occupied by advertisements.

             Under Welland Agency, we find that the central office is located on East Main street with B. Lundy as local manager, the office being open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. week days and 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays.

             There are nineteen subscribers, a list of whom follows:

             M. Beatty & Sons, Machinists; Canadian Express and G.N.W. Telegraph; Court House; German & Crow, Barristers; Dr. S.H. Glasglow; Grand Trunk Station; Alex. Griffiths, Harness, Hides and Coal Oil; Harcourt, Cowper & Maccomb, Barristers; Dr. J.H. Howell; Imperial Bank; S.D. Raymond, Manager; Industrial Home; B. Lundy, Books and Stationery; Mich. Central and T.H.&B. Station; Raymond & Cohoe, Barristers; Registry Office; F. Swayze & Son, Insurance and Ticket Office; Taylor & Cooper, Flour and Seed; Telegraph Printing Co.; Tribune, J.J. Sidey, Prop.

             No telephone numbers are attached to the names. In those days you asked for the subscriber wanted, and the operator identified the connection on the switchboard without the present day numerical aids.

             Time has wrought many changes in this list. The Court House still stands as does the Industrial Home and the Registry Office, but the last was not the edifice of today. But the two railway stations are with us in the same primitive beauty they exhibited then, and who knows but that they will still be standing thusly when time is not?

             The two newspapers are combined in one, and another manager’s name follows that of the Imperial Bank in the current directory; while of all the rest, but one name appears in the book we scan today just as it did then, Dr. J.H. Howell, and even in his case the “West Division St.” then following his name has been merged in that of the Bald St. we know.

             M. Beatty & Sons has passed out of existence as a firm name, although the business flourishes as that of the Canadian Mead-Morrison Co., Ltd. The names of the legal fraternity are familiar names today, but differently grouped. Dr. Glasgow and Alex Griffiths have passed on; the insurance field knows not Swayze & Son, but the name of Cooper is still identified with our own source of flour and feed. Books and stationery and his duties at the switchboard, for he combined his managership with the job of central handled by the pulchritudinous damsel of today, no longer weigh upon B. Lundy-all has changed in these six and twenty years.

             And the telephone business has changed too, and changed mightily. The 19 subscribers of that day have swelled to the present 1737 on the Welland exchange, with 482 more at Ridgeville, which is closely interrelated with the city operating boards. The staff of one man in the office and the switchboard, with probably a single lineman, has increased to the 46 now on the local pay roll.

             But there is one thing of which the old days has the present beat to a standstill-that book of 1896 was equipped with a string to hang it up by!


Street Committee Will Blot Out “Drive Fast and See Our Beautiful Jail.”

[The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 15 February 1923]

              “Silent Policemen” are again to make their appearance on the city streets. The streets are to be flushed in the night instead of in the day as done now, and the “welcome” signs standing at the various entrances to the city are to be “house-cleaned” and re-worded.

             Such are the recommendations that are to be made to city council as a result of a meeting of the Streets Committee held Monday night. These recommendations will be incorporated in the committee’s report to the council and will probably be discussed at tomorrow night’s session.

             The silent policemen are to be installed on Cross and East Main streets, Hellems avenue and East Main, Burgar and East Main streets, North and West main streets, Ross and East Main streets and Cross and Division streets. They will be substantially built with concrete base and will last for a number of years. The silent policemen will be made in Welland.

             This committee claims that the flushing of the streets at night will be much appreciated by the business men in the business sections of the city.

             Visitors to Welland, if the recommendations go through, will no longer be greeted with the words: “Drive slow and see our beautiful city; Drive fast and see our beautiful jail.” Instead the signs placed at the various entrances to the city will say, “Welcome to the City of Welland,” and as the visitor leaves he will read, “Thanks, come again.”

             The signs which are to be placed upright and painted anew will be erected on North, East and West Main streets.


              In co-operation with the Horticultural Society’s scheme for the beautification of the city, the Grand Trunk Railway system will in the near future send to Welland an official who will confer with the Society relative to the beautifying of the company’s grounds here. D. Ben Coleman, president of the society, had also received word from the Michigan Central Railway that it intends to improve its grounds.