Wednesday 30 May 2012

May 31, 1876

“It is many years since the sand flies have been so numerous at the Beach and along the Bay. They are commencing to disappear, and will soon give way to mosquitos.”
          Hamilton Spectator     May 31, 1876
It was a sure sign that spring was well underway and summer was coming on soon. Sandflies were making life miserable down along the Beach Strip, with the appearance of mosquitoes soon to follow.
At least two fellows didn’t let the sand fly problem interfere with their day at the Beach:
“Mr. Reginald and Mr. Alexander Gourlay yesterday, at the Beach, succeeded between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., in bagging 86 plover.”

Back in the city, the Hamilton boys of summer, the Standards Baseball team, were about to play an exhibition game against a crack squad from the Forest City, the Tecumsehs:
“On Friday afternoon, the plucky champion base ballists of this city – the Standards – will play the Tecumsehs of London on the Palace grounds. It is hardly expected that the Standards will come off victorious, as they are matched against a club of long standing, and one which beat the Maple Leafs, of Guelph, on the Queen’s Birthday. However, the Standards will make it hot for their opponents, as their practice games are very good. The match commences at 3 o’clock. The admission price is 25 cts”.

The immediate Hamilton area had new pleasure resort destinations around the bay opened in early 1876. One older resort the grounds and hotel at Rock Bay had been eclipsed, but the Spectator made a plea for its continued place as an area were Hamiltonians could escape from city life:
“ Every dog must have its day and so it is with a place of resort. Rock Bay, once the favourite retreat of our cousins, has now given way to larger and more fashionable grounds at the Beach and Wellington Square. The name is omitted from the places at which the pleasure steamers touch, and boatmen tell us that but few row boats or yachts are hired for that point. Still the grounds are quite as beautiful as before, and will be found a delightful retreat for quiet picnic parties.”

The same issue of the Spectator, appearing on May 31, 1876 contained a good example of the kind of city living problems that would readily prompt a trip across the bay to a place with fresh air and quiet:
“Charles street should be watered for the sake of the people residing or doing business on King street between Park and Macnab. Charles street terminates on the south side of King street, and the clouds of dust blown off Charles street are dashed against the opposite houses on King, and diverted up and down the street. Citizens in that neighbourhood complain bitterly of this and ask the Corporation to have the street watered through the summer.”
Another hassle of city living was also noted in that same issue:
“Some one, wishing to get rid of his superfluous shrubbery, has cut down two large bushy spruce and thrown them into Maiden Lane near Wellington street. They are a nuisance, especially at night when spirited horses are apt to take fright at them. A number of runways have already occurred, and the Board of Works should see that they are removed else serious accidents may happen.”
A store owner on Macnab street had just introduced for sale a new item which might be just the thing for those suffering from the stresses of the noisy, dusty city of Hamilton at the end of May, 1876:
“The Bordeaux Head Bath  is a new invention by which the head is treated to a violent shower bath. It is very healthy and refreshing, and it is meant for those who suffer from headaches or lack of sleep. It is better than a “horn” to a man in the morning who wants to be thoroughly wakened up. One of them has been placed in Breimer’s store, Macnab street, a few doors below King, for trial, where it can be seen by parties wishing to use it.”

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