Monday 2 April 2012

April 3, 1876

 “Considerable excitement was caused on the corner of King and Sophia streets this morning by a dog fight.
          Hamilton Spectator. April 3, 1876
It was an outbreak on fierce brutality on a Monday morning, April 3, 1876. A Spectator reporter in the vicinity described it as follows:
“A dog belonging to a citizen following a farmer’s dog barking and snarling, the farmer took the trouble to jump out of his wagon and hiss his dog on, whereupon a regular fight took place, the farmer’s dog getting much the worst of it. A policeman succeeded in dividing the fighting pair, but not until one of the brutes was nearly smashed to pieces.”
The thaw of the huge snowfall of the previous week played havoc with the Ancaster stage on the weekend :
Saturday evening, the Ancaster stage, driven by Mr. Megs, stuck in the mud, in front of Bamberger’s hotel. Most of the passengers had to get out and walk the greater part of the way home. Others procured another sleigh and reached Ancaster after a delay of several hours.”
Also on Saturday evening, the performers at the new variety theatre Canterbury Hall had a successful evening.
 The Spectator review follows :
“There was a large attendance at the variety theatre in Canterbury hall on Saturday evening. The performance on the whole was very good, some of the specialities being received with the heartiest applause. The national song which Miss Fox sings creates quite a furore of excitement as the flags of England, Ireland and the United States are displayed, whole Kittie Love’s capital dancing and Minnie Taggart’s singing never fail to amuse. One thing is noticeable in the performance of the new company, and that is, while there is an evident desire to create as much fun and amusement as possible, nothing of a coarse o obscene nature is allowed. There will be an entire change of programme this evening.”
Earlier in the day, Saturday April 1, 1876, the following prank took place:
“On Saturday, “April Fool’s Day,” a flour merchant on Market Square and a young gentleman who hangs out his shingle in the shape of a hat in front of the City Hall, were sold badly. The circumstances of the case are too long to detail here, but are well known to his friends. Suffice it to say that the two gents referred to were induced, by a clever stratagem, to walk down to the City Hospital, and back on a fool’s errand. The best of it is the victims thought that they were inflicting a sell on the very party who was perpetrating a joke on them. For further particulars call upon the party who hangs out his shingle in the shape of a hat on Market Square. “

Two reports from the mountain indicated how difficult conditions were in that locale because of the recent harsh weather:
"During the storm a large number of lambs were lost by famers throughout the county. Being young and weak they were buried in the snow. A horse belonging to Mr. Laidlaw, Nelson, died from the effects of the storm.”
The second report related to an epidemic of diphtheria :
“This terrible disease is raging in different parts of the country. Mr. Hooker, on the Mountain, has lost five children within the last few days by the disease. “
With arrival of spring, sympathy for the numerous unemployed transients in Hamilton was starting to run low :
“Ald. Allen, who has just returned from Navy Island, was surprised at seeing so many tramps and vagrants in the neighbourhood of the mayor’s office and the soup kitchen. He stated that hundreds of farmers cannot get help for love nor money, and are frowning down the soup kitchens and dormitories of the large cities for harboring men in idleness. He says that famers are offering $20 a month for laborers. This is certainly a fact, as farmers every market day complain that they cannot get hired help at any wages. Ald. Allan offers to furnish fifty men with comfortable situations within a week if they will only leave the city.”
Finally, in a related report in the Spectator of April 3, 1876, the following was announced:
“According to previous intimation, the ladies’ committee who have charge of this institution have decided to close it for the present season on Thursday next.”

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