Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

welland schools 1929-568

welland 1929-666

welland 1929-665

welland 1929-664

GRAM BROTHERS

[Welland Evening Tribune, 21 March 1929]

Starting in small quarters in 1919, Gram Brothers Ltd. now occupy a building with over 18,000 square feet and further addition required.-New show rooms provided by re-location-8 departments-Plant complete in every detail.

Ten years ago in March 1919, it was established in Welland the business of Gram Brothers for the purpose of giving emergency and repair service & tires in connection with automobiles. The business was started in a small building 14 ft. by 22 ft. on the site now occupied by the Edgar Block on Cross Street. Today the firm is an incorporated company under the name of Gram Brothers Limited and the business is carried on in the handsome and substantial two storey building at the corner of East Main and Burgar Street, the total floor space of which amounts to 18, 460 sq. ft. Such in short is the record of accomplishment of 2 young men who believed that a business could be built on the basis of quality and service combined with technical skill and expert knowledge applied to the mechanical end of the automobile business. It is also evidence of faith they had in the future of Welland and district, for there were not a few skeptics when the big new building was erected in 1924. The active officials of the company were the original owners of the business. M.F. Gram, president, W.A. Gram, manager and Secretary–Treasurer.

Through a decade in which they displayed commendable enterprise in the development of their business, they have always insisted on service to the customer and attention to detail besides operating a general garage business. They occupy an important position as automobile salesmen of the present time being the authorized dealers of Welland and district of Nash and Dodge cars.

Gram Brothers

  • Opened 18 June 1924 at the corner of East Main and Burgar Streets
  • Official newspaper announcement on 17 June 1924-Welland Tribune & Telegraph: microfilm WPL Centenary Issue pg. 20
  • Architect of new building was NA Kearns
  • Phone 842
  • “How We Began: We began this business in Welland five years ago to the day. Our office equipment at the start consisted of a telephone, an empty cement can, a lead pencil and a day book. That last word is a bit too dignified. Our day book was a five-cent scribbler.”
  • Specialized in Chrysler and Plymouth automobiles
  • Ten year anniversary in 1929
  • In 1972 they were located at 975 Niagara Street
  • 1972 was the last time the business was indexed in city directory
  • Martin Gram owned a farm on the corner of Niagara Street and Woodlawn Road. Sold to developers Bruce Abbey and Mr. Thompson resulting in street names, Abbey Road, Thompson Road and Gram Avenue.

Engine Plunges Into Welland Canal

[Waterford Star, July 4, 1929]

Welland, June 28—Kiwanians returning from their convention had a narrow escape from death or serious injury this afternoon when the Michigan Central special train in which they were travelling just escaped going into the Welland Canal through the open bridge.

The engine of the special toppled over the bridge into the water, the coaches going off the track and halting on the brink. Engineer James Odell, with his fireman, succeeded in jumping from the cabin of the locomotive before it commenced its descent. Odell was seriously injured and was rushed to the Welland County General Hospital on an N.S.&T. trolley car. He is suffering from severe lacerations of the head.

The Welland division of the Niagara, St Catharines and Toronto Railway, above the city, to Port Colborne, was tied up for some time. The accident, however did not tie up navigation, both north and south bound boats taking the easterly channel, while the locomotive lies buried in the centre of the western passage.

Two front wheels of the baggage car, which was next to the locomotive, were hanging over the brink of the canal when the engine broke loose and plunged into the canal. According to statements of several passengers, there were about 175 Kiwanians on board, mostly all bound for New Jersey. They assert that the train was traveling at a fast rate. At the point where the accident occurred there is a derailing switch which in some manner threw the tender of the engine off the track. It bumped along for a distance of 150 feet, when it hit a frog, throwing it back on the track again. It is said that had it not been for this, the passenger cars would have been thrown on their sides and many occupants injured. The baggage car was coupled next to the engine and when the locomotive went through the open bridge, the front wheels of the car were over the embankment. The engine snapped off, this automatically acting as a brake to the remainder of the train, which was brought to a standstill. The engineer had applied the brakes some distance from the bridge. There were six passenger cars in the train.

OLD LANDMARK IS BEING RAZED

One of the Prosperous Industries of Wellandport in Early History

[Welland Tribune April 27, 1929]

Known as George Steward’s Carriage Works, with a Large staff of Workmen.

An old landmark  is being razed in the village known as Peter Smith’s blacksmith. In the pioneer days of Wellandport it was owned by George Steward, who conducted quite an extensive industry in the manufacturing of wagons, carriages, cutters and sleighs, employing a large number of mechanics, consisting of wagonmakers, blacksmiths, painters and upholsters. It was one of the main industries of the district. The old building being torn down was  one of the departments of the factory. Like many  other industries in small centres, it was put out  of business by the big corporations who manufactured  on a large scale, and with which the small firms could not compete. Many large displays of Mr. Stewart’s handicraft were exhibited at local fairs throughout the district. The family of Stewards consisted of George, Jacob, Wm. J. and Jesse.