Friday 8 June 2012

June 9, 1876

 “This morning by the nine o’clock train from the east, the Knight Templar of Detroit and Michigan, accompanied by Gardiner’s Flint City Band, arrived in this city from Philadelphia en route for home.”
Hamilton Spectator   June 9, 1876
Just as they had done while on the way from Detroit to the Centennial Exposition in Philadephia, the famous Knights Templar of Detroit and Michigan marching band stopped in Hamilton on its way home.
This second visit was covered in some detail in the Hamilton Spectator of June 9, 1876:
“In response to the call of the D. D. G. M. a few Masons belonging to this city met the Knights at the station. It was a matter of remark, however, that their numbers were few, and that the XIII Batt. Band, who accompanied them , formed the largest part of the procession. The following was the order of the procession :
                             Deputy District Grand Master
                                      XII Batt. Band
Members of the Masonic Order in this city
          Gardiner’s Flint City Band
                           The Knights Templars of Detroit and Michigan
          The procession marched from the station up Stuart street, to Bay street, up York to Park street, up Park to King street, down King street to the Gore, where the procession marched round the lower fountain then up John to Main, from Main down Hughson to the Gore, and thence down James street to the Masonic Hall, when the Knights filed into the Blue Room and D. G. M. Briely bid them a cordial welcome. Refreshments were then served to the Templars and their ladies, after Mr. Brierly, D.D.G.M., conducted his guests through the building. At eleven o’clock, the Knights were conducted back to the station, where they took the train to home. The appearance of the Templars drew forth the admiration of everyone, and the precision with which they marched  and the military evolutions through they went on their way uptown showed that they had been severely and critically drilled. Flags were hoisted above the City Hall and the Royal Hotel in their honour, and the corporation allowed the fountains in the Gore to play. The morning was excessively hot, but fortunately the streets through which the procession passed were well watered, else the march would have been very fatiguing. While the procession was in motion, Gardiner’s Flint City Band played the Pearl Grand March  and the Montanan March, the 13th band playing the Belphegor and Superba Marches.”
There was another visitor from Detroit in Hamilton, but her story and the attempts to get her some needed medical assistance were very sad:
   Last evening, a young and respectable looking woman was driven from the station to the American hotel in a cab. Taking the proprietor to one side, she said she had just arrived from Detroit and that she wished to go to a lying-in hospital at once. Mr. Bearman replied that there was no such institution in the city, but instructed the hackman to drive her to the hospital. The hackman – well known in the city as Curly Sam – replied that he would have to get a pass from the Mayor. Mr. Bearman insisted that he should drive at once to the hospital, and as quickly as possible, as the woman was very sick. The hackman, however, stopped at the Mayor’s house, and asked for a pass into the hospital for the unfortunate creature under his charge. This was refused. Bewildered at the peculiar and delicate position in which he was placed, Sam was going to drive to a private house where he thought he was acquainted when he thought of Dr. White, and immediately drove there. The doctor took in the case at a glance, and springing into the cab ordered the hackman to drive to the hospital as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, however, before they reached the institution the woman was confined. She was carried into the hospital as gently as possible, but it is feared that the poor creature will never thoroughly recover.

The oft-delayed baseball showdown between London and Hamilton teams was scheduled for the following day:
“Tomorrow afternoon, the championship match between the Standards, of this city, and the Tecumsehs, of London, will take place (weather permitting) at the Crystal Palace Grounds. The disappointment which these clubs met with last week was an expensive one for both of them. It is hoped that there will be a large turnout to see the match tomorrow, and that they will be thus compensated for the untoward occurrences on Friday and Saturday last. Ladies will be admitted to the grounds free.”
The moonlight excursion of the Transit was just hours away when the afternoon edition of the June 9, 1876 Spectator hit the streets:
“Mr. Colwell, the proprietor of the Transit, is making preparations for a trip around the bay in the evening. A band will be on board and fireworks will be let off. It is the intention to fire six hundred rockets from the hurricane deck”
As mentioned in the article, the arrangements for the funeral of the popular Rev. John McColl were published in anticipation of a large number of people who might wish to pay their respects:
       We are requested to publish the arrangements for the funeral of the late Rev. Mr. McColl, so as to avoid confusion or disappointment to those who desire to take part in it. The remains will be in the library of the manse this evening from 5 to 8 o’clock , and tomorrow (Saturday) from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. A committee of session and managers will be present at those hours to attend to those who call. It is hoped that all who have a desire to look upon the face of their late pastor for the last time will come during the hours named. The church will be opened at half-past two o’clock, and it is specially requested that all will be seated not later than 3.15.
          At 3.30 promptly the members of the Presbytery will take their seats, and the remains will be brought into the church, followed by the office-bearers, when the services will be commenced. After the benediction is pronounced, the congregation is specially requested to remain seated till the first part of the funeral procession passes down the centre aisle, in the following order : the coffin, borne by pall-bearers; office-bearers of the church; members of the Presbytery and other clergymen; the Bible class; the congregation can then fall in behind. As many as can make it convenient are requested to pass out by the McNab street door, and others who do not intend to accompany the procession may remain seated till the aisles are cleared, the object being to avoid crowding at the front door of the church. Carriages and other vehicles should form on McNab or Main streets, east of McNab, leaving Maiden Lane free for societies and pedestrians to form in line. The route of the procession is from the church to Charles street; Charles street to King; King to Park; Park to York; thence to Burlington Cemetery.”
          The warm weather of the summer months was imminent and the desire for a refreshing swim in the bay was sure to follow. The shoreline of the bay below the Burlington Heights in the vicinity of the GWR station and main line had long been a popular locale for swimmers but the railway company wanted to put an end to their presence:
The recent issue by The Great Western Railway authorities of an order, strictly forbidding the use by bathers of any portion of their premises skirting the bay, has caused a deep feeling of disappointment in the bosoms of the youth of this city. That stretch of bank lying along the track as it runs from the west end of the yard to the Desjardins Canal was a famous resort. It was the rule, rather than the exception, to see scores of men and lads, day or night, there enjoying all the delightful sensations of  a plunge into the clear cold water, and reaping the exhilarating effects of a bath. But, though frequent bathing is eminently healthful and ought to be enjoined upon everyone, it should never be indulged in at the manifest expense of common decency, as was too frequently the case in that locality. Instead of being content to visit the place, exposed as it is to passing trains, in the shades of the evening, many persons made it their resort during the day. This season the custom had grown greatly over previous ones, and stringent measures had to be taken to check it, and no doubt very properly, at least so far as daytime is concerned. It is to be regretted, however, that the instructions were not relaxed with reference to the evening, for it was then that those who bathed for bathing sake sought the place. As for the vagabond boys, who spend hours and hours of daylight there, for to anyone passing it was plain they, as a general thing, were only killing time. The Company had, of course a perfect right to close up the grounds, but we would be glad to learn that some means had been taken to suspend the complete enforcement of the order so far as it related to the evening.
          We understand the City has now only two stretches of water within the limits which can be used for bathing purposes. The one is a lot abutting the bay, immediately west of the hospital and near the spot where the disabled Osprey lies. The other, and far better, ground is immediately east of the hospital and alongside Messrs. Murton and Reid’s coal wharf. We are informed by officials who say they know, that the locality is uncommonly well adapted for bathers of all ages, being shallow for a considerable distance out, very safe and possessing an excellent gravelly bottom. It has been highly recommended and should be officially brought into use without delay.
          It appears to us this is a question coming so especially within the jurisdiction of the chairman and members of the health council that they cannot ignore it unless they are willing to be charged with neglect of duty. Frequent and proper bathing is as great a sanative measure as can be used in the interests of bodily health, and is nowhere of greater importance than in a crowded city. During the hot weather it becomes an imperative necessity, and we do not hesitate to say that it is the business, if not the first business, of the sanitary authorities, to provide suitable bathing grounds for the public, even if in doing so, they are compelled to put the citizens to some expense. Other cities have proper sheds anchored inside their bays, or rivers, and in Montreal and New York, considerable annual expenditure is incurred, but it is a thousand times repaid by the beneficial result reaped by the population at large. Hamilton is placed in a peculiar and by no means satisfactory condition. She has the finest bay in the Dominion, but, for want of proper municipal forethought and management, her youth are practically shut out from using its waters in the best way conducive to health and pleasure. The season is now fully commenced and we trust that the provisions which will be made, render it unnecessary to refer again to the matter.”

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