Monday 21 May 2012

May 22, 1876

The Brant House is the name of a new summer hotel located at Wellington Square, upon the Simcoe Kerr estate, which, as our citizens are aware, is one of the finest sites for such an enterprise to be found in the country.”
Hamilton Spectator      May 22, 1876
Across the harbor from the city of Hamilton, in the north east corner of Burlington Bay, a new location for picnics and other enjoyments was nearing completion on May 22, 1876.
The Brant House would soon be one of the favourite destinations for Hamiltonians wishing to escape the city for the day:
“The necessary wharves are in course of construction for the accommodation of pleasure steamer, yachts, etc., and such enlargements and additions to the existing buildings are being made as will afford ample accommodation for pleasure seekers. The grounds are extensive and beautiful, the air pure, the means of access cheap and plentiful, and the additional attraction is furnished by the historic interest attached to the former council ground and burial place of the great Brant. The house bids fair to be a powerful competitor for public favour.” To promote passenger traffic to the Brant House as well as locations on the Beach Strip, the owners of two steamers provided free rides on May 20, 1876:
“On Saturday afternoon, the pleasure steamers the Florence and Transit made a free trip to the Beach, carrying passengers. There was a large crowd on board and all seemed to enjoy the trip. The Transit made to the Beach from her wharf in thirty minutes, and ran very smoothly.”
With only two days before the Queen’s Birthday, one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, many individuals were hard at work to make sure that all was ready for the holiday celebrations to take place in the city’s west end:
“Extensive preparations have been made by the St. George’s Society for their annual games at the Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and no trouble or expense has been spared to make the demonstration a complete success. In addition to the programme of games, there will be a new and interesting feature this year – a baby show – at which several handsome prizes will be given. The band of the 13th Batt. will be in attendance during the day, and there will also facilities afforded for dancing. Altogether it may be safely assumed that, should the day prove favourable, there will be a gay time at the Crystal Palace grounds on Wednesday.”

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