Friday 17 February 2012

February 17, 1876 - Part Two

“Thieves are more than usually numerous in Hamilton just now, scarcely a day passing without robbery or theft being put on record. Look out for them in Dundas.”
        True Banner and Wentworth Chronicle.  February 17,1876
        The weekly publication the True Banner and Wentworth Chronicle appeared both in Hamilton and in the rural areas on February 17, 1876 with a focus on new from Dundas and rural areas as well as new from Hamilton.
          The lead story in this post picked up the awareness that crime was on the increase in the community. The True Banner recognized this and picked up the that awareness as mentioned in the Hamilton Times :
“The Times says : - “There can be no doubt that there is at present operating in this city some of the gang we mentioned recently as having left the States for Canada on a tour of plunder. The sharper people look after their property the better, and in no case should special inducements be held out to dishonest people to break through and steal.”
        Rail transportation was a constant issue for citizens in Dundas . Inadequate connection  for Dundas residents with the Great Western Railway was the focus of a long article in the True Banner:
 “The passenger train accommodation provided by the Great Western Railway for the people of Dundas is at the present time very unsatisfactory and annoying. For instance, the through day express train which connects with trains on the New York Central does not stop here and leaves Hamilton at 11.30, while the Kincardine accommodation following close after the day express, is allowed to stop at Dundas and reaches Hamilton at 11.35 just five minutes after the day express has gone east - so that a passenger from Dundas who is desirous of going further east than Hamilton must either wait for the 4.54 day express or take the 8.37 train to Hamilton and wait over in Hamilton three hours to catch the Atlantic Express at 11.30. Then, in going west, the same difficulty is presented, as the Pacific Express which leaves Hamilton at 2.50 does not stop here, and passengers going west must be content to take the Kincardine accommodation at 3.52 and go to Harrisburgh or wait for the 5.55 accommodation which only goes as far as London, where they will require to wait until 2.45 a.m. – six long hours – before they can get a through train to Detroit. This is certainly a very poor arrangement of trains for Dundas, and it is really too bad that a town of the importance of Dundas, which is admitted to be one of the best paying stations on the line, should be thus served by the G. W. authorities. Our citizens should move on the matter now that Mr. Childers has come out from England to regulate matters, and see whether he is agreeable that the G.W.R. should be run in such an unsatisfactory manner to those who pay largely for its support. If the Great Western is only intended as a line for the accommodation of through passenger traffic the sooner this is declared the better, and then Canadians will know just what they are to expect at the hands of those who have its management at present, and who seem to be determined to give as little accommodation as possible to the Canadian travelling public.”

          At the same time, the managers of the Hamilton and Northwestern Railway were being lobbied to include Dundas in plans which were being prepared to extend the line from Hamilton to Collingwood :
       The Committee appointed at a public meeting held in Dundas some time ago have been negotiating with the Directors of this proposed line of railway, with the hope of inducing them to build it round by Dundas – it being understood that the route by way of the Beach is now considered almost impracticable and not in the interests of Hamilton. We hope they will succeed in convincing Hamiltonian that it will pay them to build their road round by Dundas.”

The True Banner had a short comment on another railway construction project about to begin - street railway connecting Dundas with Hamilton :
“The Hamilton and Dundas Street Railway, having obtained their charter from the Ontario Parliament, it will now be in order for the promoters of that scheme to set forth the benefits likely to accrue to this locality from the building of the road, in order to induce capitalists to take stock in the enterprise.”

The on-going, and other quite hilarious dispute between the editors of the True Banner and the Dundas standard continued. The True Banner editor’s comment for the week follows :
“The Standard still raves about the County Printing and asserts that when we are not “intolerably insolent” we are “an original coward.”  Perhaps so, but if so, we have never yet been “coward” enough to “vamoose the ranch” which gave us birth, and when we require a “character” for insolence we just know who we can borrow it from – that is if the party whom we have an eye on could possibly dispense with his entire stock in trade for a limited time.”
A winter lightning storm that attracted considerable attention by citizen and comment in the Hamilton daily newspapers also received a paragraph in the weekly True Banner:
“Last Sunday night was a wild one – this section of the country having been visited by one of the most terrific thunder storms which we have had for many a day. The lightning was extraordinarily vivid, and the crashing of the thunder was terrible, while the rain poured down apparently in one solid volume. During the storm a large pine tree standing quite near Mr. B. B. Osler’s barn on the old Ancaster road, was struck by the lightning and shivered into splinters, but the downpour of rain quickly extinguished the fire which was caused by the lightning. The shock, it is affirmed, shook the ground in the entire neighbourhood of the fated tree. “

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