Thursday 31 May 2012

June 1, 1876 - Daily Spectator

“Last evening , our reporter was driven to the race course, and there conducted through the training stables and shown the stock under Mr. Stinson’s care that are destined to mark on the record of the Canadian turf.”
Hamilton Spectator      June 1, 1876

It was an invitation the Spectator reporter was very pleased to accept, a guided tour of the thoroughbred horse training stables owned by Simon James and managed by Cope Stinson:
“The track is in splendid condition, thanks to the able management of Mr. Cope Stinson, who has it in charge, however the track will never be perfect until a deep drain is built in the inside, which will ensure a good track, in case heavy rains precede the annual meeting. Contracts have been let for a new reporters’ stand in a very convenient position on the grounds. The grandstand and judges’ stand are also to be renovated.
                   PLEASURE DRIVES
Every afternoon, large numbers of gentlemen from the city visit the track in their carriages and drive around the smooth and level track, enjoying the view they get on all sides of good horse flesh. Last evening, at one time, no less than fifteen “flyers” .from the city were kicking up a dust on the track.                       SIMON JAMES’ STABLES
          After leaving the track, our reporter was shown Simon James’ stables where can be seen some of the finest stock in Canada.
                   MODE OF TRAINING
          The mode of training adopted by Simon James and Cope Stinson insures a horse from being hurt while in their charge. They are experienced trainers and drivers, and are thorough judges of horse flesh wherever they see it. Their stables are comfortable and handy, and so constructed that no horse can hurt himself. When a green horse is first put in Stinson’s hands, he is hitched to a “track wagon.” He goes through a course of spurts in this, and when his flesh is hard enough, he goes into the silky.
                   THE SUMMER MEETING
          The prospects for the summer meeting are good. Over one thousand season tickets have been sold already, and sporting men generally take a deeper interest than usual in it. One thing the public can rely on, and that is, that the officers of the Association will make every effort to ensure a successful meeting.

Another Spectator article appeared on June 1, 1876 concerning the Rock Bay pleasure resort at the west end of the bay:
“On Monday night next, there will be a grand summer fete and promenade concert at the Rock Bay Pleasure grounds. Extensive preparations are being made to ensure an enjoyable time for all who attend. There will be a pyrotechnic display under the direction of Professor Hand, and the new Maple Leaf brass band will make their debut. The steamer Transit will commence running from the city at 7 p.m., and continue every half hour until 10 o’clock. Dancing will commence at the end of the fireworks display.”
The last item of note in that day’s Spectator was a reprint of an item from the Dundas Standard concerning the passage of logs through the village on the way to the harbour to be rafted:
“TIMBER AND DUST – Some very large sticks drawn by four or six horses have recently passed through Dundas to the canal. We say four or six because we were unable to make out the number to a certainty on account of the dust, a commodity lately the most abundant and least appreciated in town. Possibly we can manage to pull through without blindness or suffocation, but such a state of things must be pretty trying to the storekeepers.”
The Hamilton police were determined to take the credit for the capture of the Youngs and to that end devised a comprehensive plan:

 "This morning early a body of the city police, with Sergt. McMenemy and the chief at its head, was organized for the purpose of hunting down the escaped murderers, the Youngs. With Sergt. McMenemy and the chief went detective McPherson and a squad of ten constables. This number will be greatly augmented in the country. This idea is to thoroughly search every foot of ground between this city and the Grand River, to enter every house where the Youngs were intimate, and to thoroughly explore every suspicious point. Each man has got his tract of country mapped out for him, and the plan as shown to our reporter is certainly ingenious. The men are thoroughly armed, and are fully prepared for any emergency. Should they come across the Youngs their capture is certain whether they are taken dead or alive. The chief and his officers deserve every credit for this bold move, and it is to be hoped for the safety of the neighbourhood of Cayuga that they will succeed in their intention."

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