Saturday 21 April 2012

April 21, 1876 - Part One

“Fishermen are not restricted at any time to catch pike in the Bay. It is hoped that in 2 or 3 years, they will all be destroyed, when it is intended to introduce salmon into the bay. Should this succeed the bay may yet become a source of revenue to the city.”
          Hamilton Spectator     April 21, 1876
          Fishing matters led off the news coverage in the Hamilton Spectator of April 21, 1876.
          The Hamilton Harbour had already shown signs of ecological degradation due to pollutants being dumped in the water, and due to over-fishing. The desire to exterminate pike, while re-introducing salmon into the bay was seen as a way not necessarily to clean up for the bay, but as a way to make it a source of financial exploitation.
          While it seemed like pike were available to be caught any time, a somewhat contradictory item, showed that fishing every day of the week was not an option:
“This morning Andrew Dougall was charged before Mr. Cahill by Inspector Kerr with fishing on Sunday. Dougall was fined $2 and costs. Mr. Kerr intends to put a stop to the wicked habit of fishing on Sunday.”
The tragic death of prominent Dundas businessman Thomas Ireland continued to be a focus of attention in the press.
Efforts continued to locate his remains:
          “Mr. Tom Tindill, of this city, has procured a number of powerful torpedoes which he intends to use in the Canal and Dundas creek for the purpose of raising the body of the late Thos. Ireland. Mr. Jas. Boyle of Beverly, the father-in-law of the drowned man, has offered an additional reward of $100. Tomorrow being the ninth day since the accident, the body will be expected to float if not covered with mud and timber.’
          Another item on Mr. Ireland appeared on April 21, 1876, indicating that his family would at least receive insurance payouts when his body was located:
          “Mr. Ireland was 35 years of age, and was universally respected by all who knew him as an upright and honourable man. He was married to a daughter of Mr. Joseph Boyle, of Beverly, in which township he resided until about two years ago, and leaves a wife and two children to mourn his sad and awfully sudden death. It is almost needless to remark that the friends of the deceased have the sympathy of the entire community in their bereavement. The deceased had his life insured in the Canada Life company for $2,000, and in view of his upcoming trip to Prince Edward Island, the night before the accident, he took out a policy in an Accidental Insurance Company for $2,000.”
          A suggestion was put forward regarding the upcoming Hamilton and Dundas Street Railway by a Spectator reporter who had visited New York City:
          “Should the street railway to Dundas be built, it would be a good idea for the company to obtain a similar locomotive to that used on the elevated street railways in New York city. If they can build them strong and at the same time light enough to run on a mere trestle work above the streets of a large city, they would surely work well on a line laid on terra firma. The locomotives used for that purpose in New York consume their own smoke, and the steam is converted into water, and they look less terrible than a large horse. Their superiority over the latter animal over a long trek in wet or steamy weather is obvious.”
          Horse play on the job nearly turned out badly for two employees:
          “While the workmen employed at Messrs. Tuckett and Billings’ new building were at work, two young men undertook to have a wrestling match “for fun” as they called it. The affair, however, turned out more serious than they expected.  After wrestling on the sidewalk for a few seconds, Robins, being the lighter of the two, slipped his foot  and fell down the excavation about ten feet. Fortunately he fell upon some loose sand, and escaped with but slight injury. Had he fallen upon solid ground, the chances are that he would be seriously hurt, and incapable of repeating his wrestling jokes.”
          The 1876 Provincial Fair had been awarded to Hamilton to be held on the Crystal Palace grounds.
However,  to host it, several new buildings would have to be constructed and a serious renovation to the Crystal Palace itself completed:
          “The members of the Parks Committee met at the Crystal Palace this morning for the purpose of staking out the ground for the various buildings to be erected for the holding of the Provincial Fair. Mr. Van Allan , the contractor, was present to receive instructions, Aldermen Chisholm, Waddell, Lockman, and Foster, members of the committee, were on hand, and remained for several hours. Mr. Van Allan will commence the work on Monday and will proceed with the same with all possible dispatch. Upon examination of the interior of the palace, it was found that the flooring and joists were completely rotten and will have to be relaid with new material. In fact while the workmen were carrying away rubbish, the floor gave way twice. Alderman Waddell, while walking across the floor, also broke through. Fortunately, he did not sustain any injuries, other than the demoralization of his pants. “

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