Monday 12 March 2012

March 13, 1876 - Part Two

The “beautiful” fell in sufficient quantities this morning to make sleighing if it were to freeze.”
                   Hamilton Spectator    March 13, 1876

Although there had been hints of the coming spring for many days, Monday March 13, 1876 had some weather that showed winter’s end was still some time away:
“The snow has set the lumber men at work again, and one large firm (Bradley  and Flatt) had no less than thirty-five sleighs taking advantage of the snow and hauling their lumber to rafting grounds on the Bay. Two weeks’ good sleighing would give a great impetus to trade and would be an incalculable benefit to lumbermen and farmers.”
         The weather may have prompted the following sighting :
          “A large red fox crossed the Dundas and Hamilton road about a mile west of this city yesterday afternoon. He was observed sitting on the middle of the road for some, and was only chased off by an approaching team.”

The inclement weather was undoubtedly a factor which led to the following item:
Last night no less than 42 vagrants were sheltered at the Domoritory, besides about 30 at the Police Station. Immense numbers of these homeless wanderers are arriving here daily attracted by the hope of obtaining employment at the water works and on the Hamilton and North Western Railway, and thus are thrown upon the city charities, which are unable to bear the burden.”
          Besides the Dormitory, vagrants in need of a warm, dry place to spend the night would go to the No. 3 Police Station, thinking that a nights in the cells would be better than a night on the cold streets. While it might have been better, the Spectator reporter observed that the cells were a terrible place:
       Every night the Black Hole known as the police cells is crowded almost to suffocation by hordes of miserable creatures who go there for a night’s shelter. It is utterly impossible to keep the place clean, and it is no place to confine human beings. The smell of the place is sickening, and it is almost an outrage to force policemen to do duty there.”

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