Tuesday 5 June 2012

June 6, 1876

“This morning Hugh Bartliff Smith lost a four dollar bill in the market which at the time was crowded with people.”
Hamilton Spectator      June 6, 1876
Somehow the bill was lost but found and returned by an honest young lad.
“In about an hour he (Hugh Bartliff Smith) missed it, and suspecting where he had lost it, returned to the market and was looking anxiously round him when a bright lad stepped up to him, and enquired if Mr. Smith had lost anything. Our stout friend replied that he had. The boy then asked if it was a four dollar bill, and on receiving a reply in the affirmative, handed the money over to Mr. Smith. He said he had found the money on the ground, and knowing that someone would return to look for it, had remained in the neighbourhood. The lad’s name is Martin and he comes from Albion village.”
The seemingly cursed baseball match between Hamilton and London was still being attempted to be played”
“The match between the Tecumseh’s of London and the Standards of this city, which was unavoidably postponed on account of the weather last week, will be played on Saturday next. Should the day be fine, a lively game will take place as the Standards are determined to do their level best on the occasion.”
          An interesting demonstration of a new Hamilton-produced industrial product drew a large crowd, and the demonstration did not go totally as planned:
       On Hughson street today, we witnessed the trial of one of Messrs. J.H. Killey & Co.s hydraulic engines. A considerable concourse of people had gathered together to see the novel sight of twelve men being pulled along the sidewalk by the engine, each man holding on to a rope attached to the barrel or drum of the machine, and hauling with all his might against it; but it dragged them along as if they had been so many pygmies. All at once the rubber hose gave way, and lashing about right and left, scattered the water in all directions, giving many of the sight-seers an involuntary shower bath, and causing mush merriment until the water was finally turned off at the hydrant. The engine is one of J. H. Killey and Co.’s Patent Hydraulic Hoisting Engines, and has been manufactured expressly for the Montreal Harbor Board, for the purpose of conveying passengers from the bottom to the top of their new offices in Montreal. It consists of three cylinders made of brass, three and three quarter inches in diameter, attached to a band of the same metal. It has a cast steel crank to which the three plungers are attached, and this is geared direct to the drum, which has a metal frame with wood and grooves to receive the wire ropes that lift the cage in which passengers are raised and lowered. We were struck with the case with which the engine was manipulated, a slight turn of the valve being sufficient to start it, stop it, or reverse the motion altogether, while the novelty of such a power being derived from the city water pressure was to us a new feature.”
       It was thought that Rock Bay’s days as a favoured summer resort had been eclipsed by new places, but, at least on June 5, 1876, it was well attended:
       Last evening, near one thousand people were present at the grand fete at Rock Bay. Star’s band was present and their delightful music was very much enjoyed. The affair was quite a success and will shortly be repeated.”
          An oddly scheduled marriage took place on June 6, 1876 – not in a Hamilton church, but in the city’s best hotel of the day, the Royal Hotel on James street north:
“When Caesar said “Man should marry in his old age, for in his youth his hand, head and heart are soft,” he had a different idea than Mr. Geo. M. Lee, of Toronto, whose marriage to Miss Nixon, of Manitoba, was solemnized this morning at three o’clock, in the first parlor of the Royal Hotel. This is perhaps the earliest marriage, in one sense of the word, that was ever consummated in this city, and was brought about not by the caprice of the parties interested, but by the force of circumstance. It appears that Mr. Lee has been engaged to be married to Miss Nixon for some time, and arranged to be married in this city, and to start away from Hamilton on a tour by the nine o’clock train this morning. Miss Nixon was to bring a clergyman with her, the Rev. George Young of Manitoba, and the bridegroom was to have the license ready so that there would be no delay whatsoever. Unfortunately the train which bore Miss Nixon and her clergyman was late, and did not arrive in this city until half-past two this morning. The meeting between the two at the Royal Hotel was very touching, Mr. Lee had the license in his pocket, Miss Nixon’s clergyman had his prayer-book in his hat, and after a short conference, it was agreed that the marriage should take place at once, and have the agony over. They, therefore, adjourned to the parlor where the solemn rite of matrimony was gone through in due form, and the old story was told again at three o’clock in the morning. The urbane proprietor of the Royal did his best to make the party comfortable, knowing full well that he, too, would have to go through the ordeal at no distant day. After partaking of refreshments, the party retired to the marriage chamber from which they reappeared at eight o’clock, and shortly after nine o’clock were in a Pullman car for the suspension bridge.”

An observation of the results of the poor way the municipality was maintaining Hamilton’s sidewalks was shared in a letter to the Spectator by well-known store owner :

“To the Editor of the SPECTATOR :
                                                                             Hamilton, June 4th, 1876.
Will you kindly insert these few lines  in your paper and oblige:-
One evening last week, as I James Reid, was standing in the door of my sanctum sanctorium, two ladies, going westward, were standing looking in at the carpets, etc., when another two ladies, going east, came from the west. The first remarked, “have you been in to get any of the carpets in here, one of my friends bought two and they say Reid was selling them about 25 per cent less than they could be bought in any other store in Hamilton. The answer by one was “if I had a house of my own I would, as he has some beautiful carpets, and very cheap.” No sooner had she made that most truthful remark, when in moving round the outside one’s foot next to the gutter, caught a broken plank standing up, and although I rushed over, she went before I could get hold of her. No doubt she could have regained her footing if her dress had not been pinned back so tight. She uttered two or three epithets about the corporation and when I got her up on the square, I see by her face she had got up to the swearing point. I did like to say much to her in that state of mind, but believe a portion of the back of her knee was confiscated by her undergarment. When I looked after suffering humanity, I saw she had burst her bands asunder and was holding the front to the rear. I wished in my heart my religious friend John, the chairman of broken sidewalks had seen the accident, I am sure he would have fixed it at once. Not being accustomed to such scenes, it was an awful shock to my nervous system.
                                                          Yours faithfully,
                                                                    James Reid.”

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