Saturday 5 May 2012

May 5, 1876

“For some time the city has been exempt from burglaries. This is the happy result of the “cleaning out” a certain locality of the town got.”
                              Hamilton Spectator     May 5, 1876
Very often, it’s not good a thing to brag about successes as a failure might come up behind you and bite.
The Hamilton Police department was feeling pretty good about their success in preventing robberies in the city in recent weeks. The Spectator  recognized the work of the police before reporting that a new occurrence had taken place:
 “No burglaries or robberies of any magnitude have occurred, the attention of the Police Force has been almost entirely taken with drunks and vagrants. Last night, however, a burglary was committed on John street, which has seldom been excelled in this city for skill and daring. The victim, C. H. Field, book seller and stationer on John street south, between King and Main streets. The burglars effected an entrance into the coal cellar, after first gaining the yard after climbing a very big wall. From the cellar  the  scoundrels broke open the door leading into the shop, which was well and securely fastened. Their time in the shop pointed out that they were experienced burglars, and thoroughly understood their business. The till was forced open, and cash and bills to the amount of nearly $100 was taken. Everything valuable in the shape of gold pens, pocket books, satchels, books and stationery was taken, and to show that there was a large number of them, a very heavy bundle of stationery was found tied together on the floor, which they forgot to take. Fifty cigar boxes fortunately escaped their attention or they would have suffered. Mr. Field keeps no blind or shutter over his window, so that the burglars must have worked in the dark, and very quietly, a watchman walked around the block every half hour.”
A “swell” named Amos Eby had been a problem in the city for three months, but, finally, his unruly behavior came to a swift end:
 “For the last three months, there has resided in this city a rather stylish individual named Amos Eby, who made himself particularly obnoxious to the hotels, where he generally failed to pay his board bill. During the last few weeks he resided in this city, he pit up at the Commercial Hotel, and on failing to pay his little bill, his trunks were seized upon. He revenged himself upon the proprietor by having him mentioned before the Police Magistrate on the charge of selling liquor contrary to law, and keeping a gaming house. After the trial was concluded nothing more was seen of Eby, who abruptly left the city. Nothing more was heard of him till yesterday afternoon when Mr. A. H. Bennett, of the Chicago livery stables, received a telegram from Strong, the keeper of a large livery stable in Toronto, to the effect that a young man was disposing of a horse and buggy very cheap and asking him if he had let a horse out in the direction of Toronto. Mr. Bennett knew where his horses were, but promptly went to the Chief of Police office with the telegram. There he met the very man who lent the horse and buggy, complaining of the theft to the Chief. The officer immediately telegraphed to the Chief of Police in Toronto to arrest Eby and detain him until the owner of the horse arrived. This was done and last evening , by the 5:35 train, Mr. Sheep, the owner of the horse, left fo Toronto. On being arrested, Eby stated that he brought the horse from New Hamburgh, where he kept a stable, but on telegraphing to that village, it was discovered that no livery stable existing there. Eby was offering the horse, buggy and robes for $106, and the price aroused Mr. Strong’s suspicion. It is a clear case against Eby, who ill probably not be given another chance of beating hotels or stealing horses for the next three years.”
In face of criticism that the directors of the Hamilton and Northwestern Railway had only considered a route across the Beach Strip and across the Burlington Bay Canal for the new line to be built to Collingwood:
“In order to satisfy the advocates of a Western entrance into the city by the Hamilton and Northwestern railway, the Directors have obtained the services of Mr. Molesworth, the engineer of the Ontario Government, to conduct a new survey. The work was commenced today. The line now under survey is that suggested by Mr. Batty at the late meeting of the Company as being favoured by a practical engineer of his acquaintance. It will start from a point of junction with the Hamilton and Lake Erie line at the southeast part of the city, and will pass westward along the valley in which the curling rink stands; it will cross King street – or the Dundas road – at the western end of the old Roman Catholic cemetery, thence northward along the banks of the marsh until it reaches the Desjardins Canal, thence northeasterly tunnelling under the track of the Great Western opposite Carroll’s Point, reaching that point by means of trestle work across the turn of the bay, it will ascend the bank and follow the “plains” of Wellington Square. We presume the decision of Mr. Molesworth will be regarded as conclusive as to the cost of the two routes, that by the east and that by the west.”
The area known as Coote’s Paradise, or the Dundas Marsh was in the news again as the Spectator reprinted three items for the previous day’s Dundas True Banner:
“To Collect Tolls” – By an Order of Council, the Corporation of Dundas has been authorized to collect tolls on the Desjardins canal.
“A Smash Up” – While Mr. W. H. Vanevery was driving up the Flamboro’ road on Monday morning, his horse shied at a piece of paper on the road just under the black bridge, and turning round suddenly upset the buggy, spilling the occupants out and injuring them slightly. The horse came down the mountain at breakneck speed, and a made a perfect wreck of the buggy. The party who picked up the cushion of the buggy will kindly return it to Mr. V.
 “Irregularity”- the Drill Shed bell at the west end rings just when the paid servant of the corporation gets hold of the rope – which varies according to circumstances, from five to fifteen minutes either way from the correct time, at almost every time of ringing. Furthermore, it sometimes clangs four strokes, and sometimes it don’t clang at all. If it can’t be rung regularly and properly, it ought not to be rung at all.

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