Friday 29 June 2012

June 29, 1876 - Part Two

“And now the youth of the land bask in the sunshine of happiness. No more tasks to learn – no more frigid high school marms to pester the lives out of them in the days of calm serene delights afforded by the long midsummer holidays.”
                                                Dundas True Banner June 29, 1876
In a timeless burst of joy among school age children (an undoubtedly their teachers as well, June 29, 1876 was the first day of summer vacation, no more school until September.
While noting the glee as schools shut their doors for July and August, the editor of the Dundas True Banner had a few pointed recommendations as to things the local municipal powers should address’
The first one related to the aromas encountered while walking through the town’s principal streets:
        “We call the attention of our local rulers to the necessity of appointing efficient health officers to enforce the cleansing and purifying of the streets, lanes and backyards of the town. The stench with which the olfactory organs of our citizens is saluted in passing along some of our streets is simply horrible, and if something is not done soon the public health must suffer.”
The second problem in need at attention related to conditions in the Desjardins Canal which was owned by the Town of Dundas at5 the time:
On Friday afternoon, the steamer Transit  on coming half way up the canal for the purpose of making her usual excursion from Dundas to the Beach found that the way was completely blocked by some of the masts and large timbers which have floating around in the Basin and Canal for about two years past, much to the annoyance and inconvenience of parties who wish to get up and down in either smaller or large boats. Between two and three hundred excursionists were waiting for the boat and the excursion would probably have been the largest one yet barring special excursions and the business of the boat will certainly suffer if people have to be disappointed in this way. The proprietors of the boat or the Town Council should do something to compel the owners of the logs to take them out of the Canal or at least confine them in a boom, as in their present state they are nothing more or less than a public nuisance. The Transit succeeded in making her usual trip on Tuesday and will be on hand without fail tomorrow.”
An usual natural phenomenon was observed by a Dundas resident while passing through Beasley’s Hollow on the way to Hamilton Market
Finally a poignant item – a lengthy and heart pen poem written in honour of Thomas Ireland whose long sought after corpse had at last been recently located:
“ Poetry : Lines : On the death of the Late Mr. Thomas Ireland, who was drowned in the Dundas Creek on the 13th of April, 1876, and whose remains were found on the 20th of June”
Not with wasting, lingering sickness,
        Watched by friends and kindred dear,
Nor with warning of the quickness,
        Of his finished work here.
But with future prospects gleaming,
        Bright and hopeful to his view,
Many hours of blissful dreaming,   
        Many joys and sorrows few.

These are thoughts he well may cherish,
        In the strength of manhood’s prime,
Years of future active business,
        Seemed most suited to his time.
Wife and children claimed his presence,
        Friends and kindred cared for him,
To our human view and knowledge,
        His quick summons seemed all dim.

The swift waters bore him onward,
        Heedless of their precious freight,
No strong arm could stay his progress,
        He had gone, it was too late.
In his lonely home are waiting,
        Sad and anxious hearts to hear,
If the bruised and broken remnant
        Could be found to bury here.

Now at last, when hope seemed over,
        And, as days, and weeks passed by,
Comes the tidings they have found him,
        All rejoice to hear the cry.
Now kind hearts will bear him gently,
        From his home, and loved, away,
And a quiet grave remind them
        Where in death rests his cold clay.

To the God, who sends the waters,
        Roaring, surging from the hills,
We can trust His own wise purpose,
        And submit all to His will.
He can cheer the broken-hearted,
        He will bind the bruised reed,
If in Faith you ask His presence,
        To support in time of need.

When life’s trials are ended,
        And the river’s bank we near,
May we pass through death’s dark waters,
        With bright hopes and not with fear.
                        Mrs. A. J. Rossell

Thursday 28 June 2012

June 29, 1876 - Part One

For the past two weeks, Mr. Dimmick has been travelling through the eight different townships contiguous to this city. The crops have a most promising appearance. In conversing with many of the farmers, they tell him that their spring and fall grain have not looked so well at this season for a number of years. The fruit trees also appear to be well loaded, and we believe there will be an abundant harvest. With such cheering prospects, all have reason to thank God and take courage”
                                      Hamilton Weekly Times   June 29, 1876
          Thursdays were the day of the week that the weekly papers from Dundas were published. As the audience for those papers included many more rural subscribers that the two Hamilton daily newspapers, it was only natural that more stories of interests to farmers and others living outside would appear in those papers.
      While the Weekly Times featured an item that spoke optimistically of all farm crop prospects, an item in the Dundas Banner was less optimistic about one of the crops:
          “The spring crops in all parts of the County of Wentworth look exceedingly well and promise to be the best we have had in many years. In some sections, especially in clay land, fall wheat is likely to prove a very inferior yield, it having been badly killed during the winter.”
Stories with reference to the Hamilton Market were usually of keen interest to rural newspaper readers.
Two of those kind of stories follow:
       Thursday last, two of the finest fat steers which have been offered in the market for a long time were brought in by Mr. Michael Duffy, of East Flamboro, and purchased by our enterprising friend, Mr. Thomas Lawry. They were bred by Mr. James Campbell, of East Flamboro, and turned the market scales at 3,090 lbs. The animals had been driven seven miles yesterday and twelve miles this morning, but looked little the worse for the long walk.”
“For several weeks past the farmers on the Governor’s Road and the Brock Road have had frequent visits from midnight thieves, who have carried off large numbers of chickens, turkeys, etc. The thieving seems to have been carried on in a systematic manner, and it is believed that the depredators dispose of their surplus stock in the Hamilton market. Farmers should be on the lookout and it is just possible that the thieves may yet be caught.”
In 1876, rural residents were still required to spent some time working on public projects, particularly roads:
 “In many parts of the country, the yeomanry are now busily engaged in doing their statutory labor, and we will guarantee that a trip in a lumber waggon over the “clods” which are being piled up so carefully on the Governor’s Road near Dundas, will effect, for the time being at least, a radical cure for dyspeptic ailments.”
As was the style of newspaper reporting at the time, the full details of the appearance of the body of Thomas Ireland were detailed:
       The Dundas Standard gives the following particulars of the appearance of the body of the late Mr. Ireland :
          The appearance of the body, which was on its back, does not indicate that it had been completely imbedded, but that the feet and perhaps one of the arms may have been covered. The right wrist seems, from the reddish appearance of an oval spot on the back, about three inches by two, to have been exposed for a time to the action of the sun, while that hand and the other are white. The head and face are not recognisable, the hair having completely disappeared, and the scalp coming off in patches. The flesh on the face is more perfect, and some remains of side whiskers and of a beard under the chin may be discerned. The eyes are swollen and the mouth distorted, showing the teeth. One tooth is wanting in the right front of the upper jaw. The coat and vest are clean gone. There is a checked white and black flannel shirt which does not appear to be the least torn, and it is somewhat strange how the coat and vest could have been torn off by the action of the flood, without injuring the shirt more or less. When he fell into the water, Mr. Ireland had on his person a valuable watch. The pants are also in good preservation, and the boots are still on the feet. There is no reasonable doubt of the identity, as several parties immediately recognised different portions of the clothes, and Mr. Russell, one of the firm of which the deceased was a member, identified him by the absence of the tooth above alluded to. The body was buried in Flamboro yesterday.”
          A major meeting of fishermen and others concerned about preserving the fish stock on Coote’s Paradise and Burlington Bay was held on the locally renowned Fox and Hounds Temperance Hotel, strategically located on the Burlintgton Heights overlooking both bodies of water:
“In pursuance of an extensively circulated handbill, calling “ a meeting of all parties resident in the vicinity of Burlington Bay and adjacent waters interested in the preservation of the said fishery,” such gathering took place Thursday afternoon at the hall connected with Mr. Anderson’s Fox and Hounds Temperance House, Burlington Heights. The attendance was large and respectable.
          Thomas Bain, Esq., M.P., Dr. McMahon, M.P.P., and some thirty or forty others were present.
          The meeting unanimously chose Mr. Chipman Cummins chairman, and Mr. David Bickett consented to perform the duties of secretary.
          The CHAIRMAN made a few introductory remarks with respect to the object of the meeting, which he said was known to all present, therefore he would not detain them but at once proceed to business. He called upon the Secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting held in Dundas, at which a resolution was passed to the effect “That  no gill nets or scines should be used in Burlington Bay.”
          Dr. McMahon, M.P. was then called upon to address the meeting. He said that he was not a member of the Dominion Parliament, where the Fishery regulations were framed, but he had given this matter of the way in which they were administered on Burlington Bay and adjacent waters a little consideration and failed to see that justice had been done to those residing on the north side of the Bay, all of whom had been deprived from taking fish, while those on the southeast were extended the privilege. The subject had been brought to his attention by Mr. Wm. Hopkins, and he (the speaker) had put him in the way of returns brought down through Mr. Bain, M. P. in the Dominion House. These having been printed. In his opinion, those having such grievances should lay them before the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and have them redressed.  Mr. Bain, he was pleased to say, would be in the Hall in a few minutes, and then they could obtain more information than he (the Doctor) could possibly give them. He regretted the absence of Mr. Kerr, and proceeded to remark that it certainly was an unfortunate circumstance that a person holding the position he held, as Inspector of Fisheries should occupy the Deputy Reeve’s chair in any municipality contiguous to where his duty in the former capacity called him. Mr. Kerr held a municipal position in Barton township, and the circumstance gave them residing elsewhere to suspect that the favouritism might be shown with regard to fishing privileges. He thought that resolutions should be drawn and forwarded to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, properly setting forth what they complain of, and the redress sought for. The doctor’s remarks were applauded.
          Mr. Bain, M.P. , having arrived, next spoke. He confessed that he was not a fisherman; the only time he had ever attempted was in company with two others one Queen’ Birthday some time ago, and between them they managed to land three fish – thesew ere not more than two inches in length (Laughter). He thought the matter deserved consideration on the part of the authorities. When he was asking for the return of correspondence to be brought down in the House (which has since been published in the TIMES) he was not aware of the difficulties which residents on the north side were suffering under, otherwise he would have asked for a return of the answers to the Department as well. They wanted fair play, and although he had nothing to charge the present Fishery overseer with, still he thought that the Department never intended some of the regulations to be constructed as they had been in this quarter. At present, the Bay was practically a reserve for those on the south-east side, who were allowed to sweep out the fish with nets and seines, while those on the north shore were deprived of all such rights, and the sport of angling was destroyed. He would use all of his influence to have the proper authorities place those on this side of the Bay and Dundas Marsh on the same footing as residents on the other shore. (Hear, hear.)
          Mr. SIMON STIPE, of Barton, defended Mr. Kerr, and remarked that the business way to go about a redress of their grievances was to apply to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries.
          Mr. BAIN asked how it was that gill net fishing had been allowed by the Department on the south side, and not on the north side, or any other place on the Bay, or adjacent waters? He (Mr. B.) did not know Mr. Kerr in this matter at all, but wanted to see justice done.
          Mr. STIPE replied that he believed the Hon. Commissioner of Marine and Fisheries would defend the Fishery Inspector in this action.
          Mr. JOHN BLAINE said that he had asked Mr. Kerr why those on the south were granted priviledges they enjoyed, and he (Mr. Kerr) told him that it was because those in the south were a poor lot of people who had nets, and when these were worn out that would be the end of it.
          It was then moved by Mr. CLINE, seconded by Mr. L. Mills, That this meeting is of the opinion that no nets or seines should be drawn inside of Burlington Bay or Dundas Marsh, nor within one quarter of a mile of the entrance to the Burlington Canal, and that the Chairman be authorised to memorialise the Government to have the Fishing regulations so amended.
          The mover and seconder spoke to the resolution, the latter referring to the inconsistency of the Fishery Inspector in his action towards the people. One time Mr. Kerr gave them leave to destroy the pike, other times he refused to let them take one.
          After some further conversation, the resolution was adopted.
          It was then moved by Mr. WILLIAM HOPKINS, seconded by Mr. JOHN BLAINE, that a memorial be prepared and forwarded to the Hon. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries (through Thos. Bain, Esq., M.P.) setting forth the injustice of the present fishery laws and enactments so far as the Burlington Bay and adjacent waters are concerned, and that the same may be amended so as to render justice to all parties. That this meeting nominate the following gentlemen to compose said Committee : Messrs. William Hopkins, Dr. McMahon, Henry Binkley, David Bickell and Joseph Cline.
          It was arranged that this Committee will meet at Bamberger’s Half Way House some evening shortly. Carried
          The meeting then shortly after six o’clock dispersed, after votes of thanks to the members of Parliament, the Chairman and the Secretary.”

Tuesday 26 June 2012

June 27, 1876

As Dominion Day approaches, extensive and varied preparations are being made among the people of the city for observing it in true holiday style.”
Hamilton Spectator      June 27, 1876
Even though it was only the ninth national holiday in Canada’s history, Dominion Day was already a well-established and enjoyed holiday in 1876, and nowhere less so than in Hamilton.
In the following article, the Hamilton Spectator describes the main options for Hamiltonians wishing to celebrate the holiday:
“So far it seems that excursions, society picnics and games will be the order of the day.
                   THE CALEDONIAN SOCIETY
have decided on holding a grand excursion to St. Catharines, which will doubtless be one of the most attractive affairs in that line in which the public will have a chance to participate. The splendid steamer City of St. Catharines has been chartered for the occasion, and will leave McIlwraith’s wharf Saturday morning at 7 o’clock sharp. The fine brass band and string band of the society will accompany the excursion. During the day there will be a grand parade of firemen in St. Catharines and the Caledonian Society of the city will hold their annual games in the Montebello Park. As every effort will be made by the branches of the Caledonian Society of this city to secure the comfort of the excursionists, a good time is to be expected.
                              THE FORESTERS
celebration, which is to take place in the Crystal Palace grounds, will be one of the principal attractions in the city. The demonstration will be held under the auspices of the different Courts of the Order in this city. A large and interesting programme of games will be carried out, consisting of archery, athletic sports, etc., for which valuable prizes will be given .A lacrosse march will take place on the grounds in the afternoon, and in the evening, there will be one of the grandest display of fireworks ever seen in the city.
                             THE RAILWAYS
are also offering inducements to those who feel inclined to take a trip by rail on Dominion Day.
          The Great Western will issue tickets at a single fare valid only on Saturday, with the exception of those to Buffalo, which will be issued to and from all stations, according to time-table at one and one-third fare, good to return up to midnight of the 3rd.
          The Hamilton and North Western Railway will issue return tickets at a single fare good to return on Saturday, or on the Monday following.
                             THE OCEAN HOUSE
at the Beach will no doubt attract a large number of pleasure seekers on Saturday. Arrangements are being made. To afford a pleasant time to all who chose to spend a portion of the day there. In the way of sports there will be quoits, billiards, bowling and boating, and there is to be a grand ball in the Ocean House Music Hall in the evening. Steamers will ply between the city and that place every hour during the day.
          With the above choice of amusements, it is probable that the masses of Hamilton will be enabled to spend a pleasant day on Saturday.”
During the evening of June 26, 1876, a very enjoyable evening was spent at a festival organized to financially assist a downtown church:
“The strawberry festival given last night by the ladies of the Park street Baptist Church was, in every way, pleasant and successful. A goodly company of friend assembled, and after doing ample justice to the strawberries, ice cream and cake provided, they were entertained with music, readings, recitations and brief but appropriate addresses. The pastor, Rev. W. Stewart, presided, and announced that the object of the festival – to provide funds for the renovation and decoration of the lecture room – would be fully realized. Such gatherings are very beneficial as tending to cultivate a friendly feeling among the members of the congregation.”
The afternoon edition of the Spectator reported on the somewhat disappointing circus parade which wended its way through Hamilton’s downtown streets to promote the circus which was to take place that evening:
“This morning at an early hour, Cole’s great racing hippodrome, menagerie and circus arrived in this city from St. Catharines. From about nine o’clock in the forenoon, the streets were crowded with people of all ages, who anxiously awaited the appearance of the grand procession, which, it was announced would parade through the streets. The crowd in the neighbourhood of James and King streets, near the Gore, must have numbered several thousands. At about half-past ten, the procession appeared marching down John street to Gore, then across to James, up to King, and through others of the principal streets. The procession was headed by a brass band in a chariot drawn by a number of dromedaries. This was followed by equestrians, and after them came the cages containing the animals. The procession was scarcely as gorgeous as expected, but, from the flattering notices which Mr. Cole gets wherever he goes, we may be sure that the best of the show is inside the canvas. Thousands of people visited the circus this afternoon, and it is probable that the immense tents will be crowded this evening.”

Monday 25 June 2012

June 26, 1876

The game at the Crystal Palace grounds on Saturday afternoon ended, as was generally expected, in the defeat of the home club, but after the rather respectable show which the Standards made in Guelph, few expected they would be so badly beaten as they were.
                                                Hamilton Spectator.  June 26, 1876
Even with the build up of anticipation, no knowledgeable Hamilton baseball fan expected the home side to beat the champion Maple Leafs of Guelph. But their low expectations were not only met, but exceeded :
“The game commenced at 3 o’clock, the Maple Leafs going to the bat. In the first inning they scored 1, and the Standards followed with a whitewash.
The next inning for the Standards resulted in the same way, and at the end of the fifth innings, the score stood – Maple Leafs 16, Standards 0, the former having scored 7 in the second, 2 in their fourth, and 6 in their fifth innings respectively.
It seemed at this stage of the game as if the Standards were not going to make a run, and there were long and disappointed faces among their friends. In their sixth innings, however, they succeeded in scoring1, which was repeated in the seventh, and the Maple Leafs having only obtained one in their sixth and nothing in their seventh, the score at the end of the seventh innings stood – Maple Leafs 17, Standards 2. Then followed two more whitewashes – one for each side – and the Champions took the bat for the ninth innings. Much to the astonishment of many present they succeeded in adding eight to their score. And here it may be said that the secret of the Maple Leafs scoring so heavily was in the habitual muffing of the Standards. Had it not been for the wild throwing and very bad judgment on the part of some of the Hamilton players, the Guelph team would never have made runs in their last inning. It is useless for the Standards to attempt to play such clubs as the Maple Leafs and Tecumsehs unless they procure some new and superior material who about a very decided improvement in what they have. Some of them did very well, but others did the very opposite, and the game was in reality lost and won long before it was finished.
The play of the Maple Leafs was very much admired, their playing, generally speaking, being of a high order.”
In the same afternoon edition of the Hamilton Spectator, the following item was included:
“As we go to press, the Hamilton Field Battery is on its way to the Crystal Palace grounds for the performance of the annual drill. The corps presented a fine appearance as they marched up King street, headed by the band. “
However, a previous City Council decision to deny the militia unit use of the Crystal Palace grounds had to be reversed as explained in the following::
“A special meeting of the City Council was held in the Council Chambers on Saturday evening to reconsider the application of the Hamilton Field Battery for the use of the Crystal Palace grounds for the performance of their annual drill, and also to make arrangements to attend the funeral of the late ex.-Alderman Mullin.
Members present : The Mayor in the chair, and Ald. Kenrick, Morgan, Kent, Fitzpatrick, Chisholm, Magee, Crawford, Barr, Humphrey, McLellan and Field.
The Clerk read the following :
To His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Hamilton :
SIR AND GENTLEMEN : The Hamilton Volunteer Field Battery of Artillery having been ordered to perform its annual drill for this year at some convenient place near its headquarters, respectfully request the use of the grounds and some of the stables connected with the Crystal Palace for that purpose.
These grounds, together, with the stables, and the unlimited supply of water are, by far, the most suitable spot in the neighbourhood of the city, and I earnestly trust that your honourable body will kindly grant the Battery the use of them for their annual drill which commences on or about the 26th inst.
                                                G. R. Smith,
                                                Captain Commanding.
                                                          Per W. F. McMahon,
                                                          Lieut. H. V. F. Battery,
Hamilton. June 6th 1876

                                                                   Hamilton, June 24th, 1876.
MY DEAR SIR : Permit me to inform you of the death of the late Mr. James Mullin; the funeral will take place from his late residence on Monday the 26th instant, at 2 o’clock p.m.
                                                          John A. Mullin.
Moved by Ald. Chisholm, seconded by Ald. Kilvert, that Capt. Smith, of the Hamilton Volunteer Field Battery be heard in regard to the petition for the use of the Palace grounds. Carried.
Captain Smith addresses the Council and pointed out that no injury would be done to the grounds or the buildings. He said it was not the intention of the Battery to perform any gun drill on the grounds. Should any damage be done, it would be paid for.
Moved by Ald. Field, seconded by Ald. Crawford that the vote of this Council at its last meeting refusing the use of the Crystal Palace grounds to the Hamilton Field Battery be reconsidered. Carried.
Moved by Ald. Kilvert, seconded by Ald. Chisholm and resolved : That the Hamilton Field Battery be allowed to occupy the stables, and to pitch tents and use the cook house, in the Palace grounds during their annual drill, it being understood that the Battery are not to drill with their horses and guns inside the grounds. Carried.
Moved by Ald. McLellan, seconded by Ald. Field, that the City Council attend in a body the funeral of ex-Al. Mullin, on Monday, the 26th inst., and that His Worship intimate this resolution to the family of the deceased, with expression of regret at the death of the gentleman. Carried.
Council then adjourned.”
The Police Magistrate seems to have been in a relatively forgiving mood at the morning session of the Police Court of June 26, 1876 :

“Wm. O’Neil was arrested by Constable McFlagan at the Palace grounds on Saturday for climbing on the sheds attached to the grounds. He was fined $2.
                                      COWS AT LARGE
Patrick McGrath and George Pfann were charged by Alfred Myles with having cows at large. Mrs. McGrath and Mrs. Pfann gave a satisfactory explanation of the delinquency and the cases were dismissed.
Hugh McKay was arrested, on complaint of his wife Agnes McKay, with insanity. Mrs. McKay stated that she and her children were in danger of bodily harm from him. The case was adjourned to procure medical testimony.
Charles Rathmore was found drunk on York street by Constable Williams about half one o’clock on Sunday morning. He was fined $2.
Jno. Dunn, Chas. McKay and Jas. Donohue were picked on Bay street yesterday morning by Constable Littlehales. The prisoners said they had come from St. Catharines, and were making their way to Toronto. As this was their first appearance at the Police Court, they were let go on a promise that they would leave the city without delay.
Mary Nixon complained of her husband having threatened to beat her. John denied the charge and promised to be on his good behaviour for the next 12 months. He was let go.
Mary McKenna, a rather hard-looking specimen of an Irish woman, was arrested for brutally ill using another, Kirkpatrick on George street, yesterday morning. The case was adjourned.”