Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

TALES to tell and MUSINGS to mind!

This is where you will find interesting TALES of the various people that lived in and around Welland during the 1800s and 1900s.

We’ve also introduced a new subcategory: HISTORICAL MUSINGS by select featured authors.

wilson chambers 1929-642

welland county council 1936-005


welland county council 1936-004


SWEEPINGS – We reprint here some excerpts from that notorious sheet, “Sweepings.”

Welland High Paper circa 1930s’


Arthur Smith

To the average person interplanetary travel is something so improbable that it belongs to the realm of fantastic. To my mind, there is nothing fantastic about it. I am convinced of the feasibility of space travel, and I predict that a successful flight to Mars will be made before the close of this century.

I am aware that there are great difficulties, but these are not insuperable. It is true that the distances are vast (Mars at its nearest is 5,000,000 miles away) but in space you can go a million miles as easily as one. This is because space is almost a perfect vacuum, and thus friction is practically absent.

A frequent objection is that a spaceship would have to obtain a speed of 7 miles per second, and that the acceleration would kill all on board. This is erroneous. Seven miles per second is the speed necessary if the rocket is to cut off its power and continue on momentum. But why not build a ship to travel at a bearable acceleration and keep the rocket blast on?

The greatest difficulty is fuel. The only suitable fuel now known is a mixture of liquid oxygen and gasoline, which is too bulky. However, I am confident science will find something better and thus remove the main obstacle.


[Welland Telegraph, 22 May 1891]

Mrs. Christina Doan figured as complaint in a trespass case before the police magistrate on Tuesday. The defendant was her brother-in-law, and the offence consisted of tying his horse on a vacant lot. The case was dismissed, and the complainant, disappointed at the result muttered something about breaking some person’s head.



Buffalo Courier

[Welland Telegraph, 15 May 1891]

In the historical society’s rooms in the library building stands an iron basket of latticed and riveted iron strips, painted red, with room for two persons to sit vis a vis on a wooden bottom-altogether a rough and ancient looking contrivance. It was used in years long past to convey human freight across Niagara’s gorge, and in imagination one can see the queer-looking object on grooved wheels running on the small cable above, shoot down the cable’s deflection till the centre was reached, then climb the opposite incline and by other aid finally reach the Canadian bank.

The basket has an interesting history, as the following letter in the possession of the secretary of the society will show. It was written by Judge Hulett of Niagara Falls, and has never before been published.

“George F. Barnum, secretary Buffalo historical society. Dear Sir: It gives me much pleasure to be enabled to furnish you the history of the ‘iron basket’ which was a preliminary means in the construction of the great railroad suspension bridge that now spans the Niagara River, the admiration of the world. The dates I will give you were taken from a diary kept by me during the work.

Read the rest of this entry »


[Welland Telegraph, 15 May 1891]

A very quiet wedding took place at Holy trinity church on Saturday, when Mr. Chas. Trimble, of Somerville & Trimble, and Miss Minnie Foster were united by the holy bonds. So quiet was the affair kept that no one but the minister, the contracting parties, and the necessary witnesses were present. Congratulations are now being received by the pair. M: 9th May 1891.

Family Farm

Everyone has a special memory of their childhood and looking back over the years this is perhaps one of the nicest. An only child I was taken to visit my father’s family in Stevensville every Sunday and share in picnics, family gatherings and outings with the odd assortment of relatives who lived in the area. Because it was a weekly event, I sometimes resented the routine of my parents, but now I wish I could have one day with the Fox family eating scrumptious food prepared by my grandmother and listening to their stories. One of the best remembrances was the flavor of my grandmother’s icing that donned every cake. Made from farm fresh cream it is a taste one never forgets. Picnics were held on the farm under a shady tree and I can still see the grouping of people laughing and carrying on.

My father was raised on House Road, Stevensville, by his grandparents, and it was not an easy time. They had little money and he was often left to take care of himself, which he did quite successfully. The old house had a barn, circa 1860, that the Fuch family built on arrival to the area. I did not appreciate my roots until it was too late to record the stories which is often a sad fact of our past.

Last year I had the barn painted by my dear friend John Robert Bradley and it is part of a legacy to be passed on to my children. Taken from a photograph, the likeness is uncanny and a tribute to the artist. I wish to share John’s work with you and to see the value of preserving these images in whatever way we can.


[Welland Telegraph, 24 April 1891]

John P. Einsfeld, brother-in-law of Mr. Geo. Cronmiller, died at his residence in Buffalo on Thursday of last week. Deceased was known to many in Welland County. He married a daughter of the late George Weaver, of Willoughby, who is left a widow. He served in the 49th regiment in the federal army during the American rebellion, and at the close of the war was one of the 59 that were left of the whole regiment He was very popular among his friends, held several prominent positions and was door-keeper at the House of Representatives. The funeral last Sunday was attended by many friends from Welland county. D: 16 April 1891


The Great Novelist’s Favorite “Mamie” to Write of her Father

[Welland Telegraph, 18 December 1891]

Pretty “Mamie” Dickens was already considered by those who knew Charles Dickens best to be the novelist’s favorite daughter. To none of his children, perhaps, was Dickens more affectionately attached, and the “pet daughter’ saw much of her father under all circumstances. When even the dogs were chased out of the novelist’s study, Mamie was allowed to stay. The daughter is now a full grown woman, living quietly just outside of London. For the first time since her father’s death, Miss Dickens has been persuaded to write of him whom she knew so well. During 1892 there will be published in The Ladies Home Journal, of Philadelphia, a series of articles by Miss Dickens under the attractive title of “My Father as I Recall Him.” Fortunately for the thousands who will read what she writes in this series, Miss Dickens has a retentive memory, and she made copious notes during her father’s lifetime. She will tell in this series everything she remembers of her father; how he educated his children; his family life and his personal habits; how he wrote his famous books; his love of flowers and animals; how Christmas was spent in the Dickens household; how the novelist romped with his children; the famous people who came to the Dicken’s home, and his last years and closing days. No articles ever published have in them as much promise of telling the world things which it has never known of Dickens, and Miss Dicken’s story of her father’s life will be eagerly looked for in thousands of homes where the name of Dickens is like a household word.