Monday 14 May 2012

May 15, 1876

The jury summoned to the inquest touching death of the late Mrs. Macrae met at the City Hall at 10 o’clock this morning, when a further adjournment was made until eight o’clock this evening.
          Hamilton Spectator .  May 15, 1876
Nothing had been made officially public about the death of Georgia Macrae but rumours were swirling. Dark stories about life at Westlawn were being circulated everywhere.
The Spectator of Monday May 15, 1876 termed the climatic conditions that day to be “November weather”.
The day before the bay had been dotted with large numbers of pleasure boats, but the weather had changed abruptly.
Also on the weekend, a the refurbished steamer, The Transit made an appearance on the harbour waters:
“The ferry steamer, which has been completely overhauled and refitted, sailed round the Bay on Saturday, and today, she made a trip to Wellington Square. The Transit will run during the summer between the city and the Square in connection with Eager’s fine new hotel in the latter place.”
          In an age where life expectancy was relatively short, the following item would have raised a few eyebrows when read:
“Our exchanges frequently bring us news of centenarians and those who almost centenarians, and whose vigour under the weight of years is the marvel of their respective localities, but there is an old resident of this city, Mr. Jeremiah Buckley, who resides with his son, Mr. Dennis Buckley, corner of John and Barton streets, who will be one hundred and five years of age next month, and who still retains possession of all his faculties. He has never known sickness but once during his long career in this vale of tears, and likes nothing better than an opportunity to display his vigour in splitting wood, and doing other odd job around the premises. Mr. Buckley is a native of Cork Co., but was reared in Kerry, and has lived in this country for a quarter of a century. This is certainly one of the most remarkable cases of longevity on record, and we should like to hear from anybody who is prepared to dispute Mr. Buckley’s claim to be considered “the champion of man.”
          The last item of note from the Monday May 15, 1876 Spectator concerned the lack of news as to the whereabouts of two young Hamiltonians:
“On Saturday evening last, a couple of young men left this city for Buffalo, after entering into a solemn compact to return this morning to attend to important business engagements. As they have failed to implement their promises, and as both are known to be men of honour whose words are as good as their bonds – if not better – considerable anxiety prevails amongst their friends as to their whereabouts. The habit of carrying large sums of money and valuable jewellery upon the person is one which exposes the possessor to the machinations of the dishonest, and imperils even life and limb. We trust no harm has befallen our young friends, any information concerning whose movements would be thankfully received at their boarding houses.”

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