Friday 6 April 2012

April 7, 1876

“Ship owners are busily engaged fitting up their vessels for the coming season. Some of the steamers are being newly painted.”
          Hamilton Spectator . April 4, 1907
There was a lot of activity down at the Port Hamilton waterfront as preparations were in full swing for the beginning in earnest of navigation on the Great Lakes.
In the city, the milder weather was prompting citizens to get out of their homes for some fresh air.
As can be gathered from the following Spectator report, one couple’s outing led to some alarming circumstances:
”Last evening about eight o’clock as a lady and gentleman were walking some distance below the toll gate on Main street, they heard a sharp report of a rifle in the direction of King street, followed by sounds of mingled rage and terror immediately ahead of them. The gentleman hastened forward in the direction of the sounds, and to his astonishment found a person standing in the road shaking like a leaf and exclaiming excitedly that he had been shot at. He declared that the bullet had whistled within a few inches of his face, and felt that the person who fired the shot must have had intentions on his life. Though the moon was shining brightly, no sign of any person could be seen, neither did any sound come from the direction in which the sound was heard. That the shot was intentional must be surmised from the fact that no person would have anything to shoot at after dark. The party who had been shot at appeared perfectly overcome with fear and excitement, but did not enter the fields in search of the party who attempted his life.
          While the editors of the Dundas weekly newspapers feuded in print constantly, in Hamilton there was far less animosity between the two daily newspapers:
“We notice in this week’s Canadian Illustrated News a capital portrait of our confere of the Times, Mr. J. G. Buchanan, from a photograph by Eckerson & Lyon, of this city. It is a genuine picture of the genial Josh, and will be a valuable addition to the Canadian Picture Gallery. Mr. Buchanan is the first newspaper man in the reportorial line who has ben honoured in this way, and he deserves it, as his services as a journalist have been long and faithful, and the Press of Hamilton owes much to his ability and genius. The Illustrated News says: - “Mr. J. G. Buchanan, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Press Association, has occupied his present position for three consecutive years. He is a comparatively young man, having entered on the printing business at twelve years of age. Born in Montreal, he came to Upper Canada and served his apprenticeship in the office of the Brampton Times. In 1866, he became local editor of the HAMILTON SPECTATOR; on resigning the position, he took charge of the Port Hope Mercury, and has been on the staff of the Hamilton Times since 1869.” Mr. Buchanan left for Philadelphia today on business connected with the Canadian Press Association.”
          A fund-raising effort had been organized for a popular Hamiltonian who had fallen on hard times. The Spectator helped to publicize was being done :
“On Monday the 17th inst. Mr. Sam Smith, an old sporting character, but now in indigent circumstances, will receive a benefit at Selwyn’s Club house, formerly Dan Black’s. One thousand tickets have been struck off, and it is hoped that Sam will receive a good ovation.”
Finally, another story about someone out of doors because of the warm weather. But it was not a happy story, but an unsettling one :
“Yesterday morning a child named Herbert Glover wandered from his home on James street, and has not since been seen. His parents are anxious about him.

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