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.

WELLANDPORT: Busy Shipping centre of a Bygone Era PART 2

[Niagara Farmers’ Monthly  September 1992]

Dr John W. Collver was Wellandport’s resident physician from 1868, until his death in 1912. He was responsible for another of the town’s firsts, introducing lucerne to Canada. The seed , which he imported from Germany, was grown on property owned by another familiar name J.D. Fulsom, at the east end of the village.

Dr. Collver also had a drug store, on the northeast side of the Canborough Rd. and Hwy 57 junction.

Descendant and namesake John Collver and his wife, Dorothy, recently posted a sign, “The Collvers of Wellandport”, with others on display at Watson Lake, Yukon.

One of Dr Collver’s successors, Dr. John Leeds, caused quite a stir in 1933, when he administered the first vaccinations to the pupils at SSNo 1 Caistor. He had the unenviable task of persuading the children to have the dreaded needles, as well as convincing their parents that it was beneficial!


The old businesses began to disappear, victims of time and technology, and the end of the great lumber era. Among them were the cheese box factory, Peter Swartz’ harness boot and shoe shop, Jim Sheldon’s grocery with a crank telephone, and up to eight families on one line. It was closed in 1961, when dial telephones came into service.

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WELLANDPORT: Busy Shipping Centre of a Bygone Era

[Niagara Farmers’ Monthly, August 1992]

By Margaret Comfort

Much of Wellandport’s history may be gleaned from physical evidence, dating back even to prehistoric times. Skeletal remains of two elephant-like mastodons were discovered in the area, indicating that it was once covered with evergreens, the mainstay of their vegetation diet.

The Welland River(Chippawa Creek) was a direct artery in shipping lumber and grain to the United States, narrowly separated from Beaver Creek by a former Indian path. That two-mile long strip of land was called The Narrows by United Empire Loyalists (UEL) who began settling there in the late 1700s.

The two waterways made the location an ideal one for transportation, livestock and personal use, as well as power for the saw and grist mills so vital to progress.

As the community matured, the water source took on a new significance, in combating two major fires within the village itself. Effects of those fires and more recent growth may be traced by comparing the architecture of the buildings along today’s Canborough Road and Highway 57 junction.

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[Welland Tribune, 3 January 1908]

In the presence of a few immediate friends, on New Year’s afternoon, and at the residence of Mr. Joseph Carl, Crowland, Miss Margaret Wallace Carl was wedded to William F. Swartz of Welland. Rev. J.D. Cunningham performed the ceremony.

The bride was unattended; little Lily Carl acted as flower girl. The bride wore grey silk, while her going away gown was blue broadcloth. The bridegroom’s present to the bride was a necklace and pendant, which was studded with pearls. To the flower girl he gave a locket and chain. After the ceremony a jolly hour was spent at a splendidly appointed table. Mr. and Mrs. Swartz will reside on North Main St.




[Welland Tribune, 3 January 1908]

Joseph Reickard, a resident of Amigari, was found dead on the commons east of the village at a distance of about an eighth of a mile and within sight of his home, on New Year’s morning. Solomon Barnhardt was on his way to Fort Erie when he discovered the body and immediately notified the Fort Erie police. Reickard was 70 years old and lived with a son Frank, who is employed as car-repairer on the Grand Trunk. He left his home for Buffalo on Tuesday morning, and had expressed his intention of visiting friends at La Salle, N.Y, on New Year’s day. He evidently changed his mind and returned to Fort Erie only to perish on his way home. His death is supposed to have been due to exhaustion, coupled with exposure and old age.


I hear the music of the crow
In yonder swinging pine,
The melody is somewhat crude.
But still Spring’s welcome sign;
The fat and perky robin sings
From early morn till night;
The blackbird in the willow pours
A song of rare delight;
The perch and bass are calling me
To seek a sunny nook–
I’ll take my pipe and fishing-rod
And steal down to the brook.

How sweet the sun is shining now,
Spring’s blue is in the air,
The flowers just touch the velvet green,
In clusters here and there;
There’s beauty rare in every leaf
That whispers in the breeze,
And something magic in the life
That wakens in the trees
The perch and bass are calling me
To seek a sunny nook–
I’ll take my pipe and fishing-rod,
And steal down to the brook.

Canada First and Other Poems
1920 Canada First and Other Poems By James A. Ross


Welcome again thou glorious season,
Quick following Spring’s decay,
With breezes light and flowers so bright,
To cheer us on our way.

You spread your beauties all around,
The Earth, the Air, the Seas,
The birds sweet song, it echoes long
Amid the swaying trees.

Oh, gently zephyrs of the South!
That fan the fragrant flowers,
How light you play throughout the day,
Among the shady bowers.

How grand the fields of golden grain,
Beneath the summer skies,
With waving motion, like rolling ocean,
The tall stalks fall and rise.

We view the sun at summer eve,
The day well nigh passed by;
Its golden light so wondrous bright,
Illumes the western sky.

Thou richest season of the year,
Thy praise we’ll ever sing;
To you we know, much do we owe,
Who all these beauties bring.

Canada First and Other Poems
1920 Canada First and Other Poems By James A. Ross


The bumble bees are buzzin’ all around the dandelion,
And the blackbirds through the sky blue are here and there a-flyin’;
The grass is growin’ fresh and green and the lilacs peekin’ out,
And the smell of Spring is in the air and everywhere about;
The crows are sittin’ on the fence and loudly cryin’, “Caw!”
And seems to me it’s fishin’ time in the dear old Chippewa.
The sleepy pussy willows are a swayin’ in the breeze;
A hundred gladsome sing birds are all singin’ in the trees;
The bull-frog joins the chorus with his Springtime melody,
And the balmy air is full of light as far as eye can see;
The women-folk are cleanin’ house–I hear their loud hurrah;
And seems to me it’s fishin’ time in the dear old Chippewa.

Canada First and Other Poems
1920 Canada First and Other Poems By James A. Ross


June days are dream days,
Blue skies all aglow;
Song-birds are crooning mysterious lays,
Romanies come and go.
June days are dream days,
All of the muses know;
Sunbeams are dancing with shimmering rays,
Wherever streamlets flow.

June days are dream days,
Visions of long ago;
Roses are blooming in all sunny ways,
Lovers are whispering low,
June days are dream days,
Memories tell me so;
Spirit of love-time in sweet summer haze,
Wherever roses grow.

Canada First and Other Poems
1920 Canada First and Other Poems By James A. Ross


[Welland Tribune, 3 January 1908]

Another very happy event took place at the beautiful residence of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Sherk of Humberstone, on Christmas day, when friends and relatives to about sixty in number assembled to witness in marriage of their daughter Lottie (twin sister of Mina, who was married to Mr. Charles Chambers two months ago) to Charles Adams of Bertie, son of Capt. Adams of Point Abino, at 12 o’clock noon. As the wedding march was played by Mrs. Chambers, the bridal party entered the parlor to a beautiful cove in a corner, of holly ferns and white bells. They were led by Rev. Mr. Sanderson, followed by groom and groomsman, Joseph Adams, brother of groom, the bride following, leaning on the arm of her father. She was charming in a beautiful dress of white silk mull, and carried a bouquet of white roses. The bride was attended by Miss Lilian Babion, who looked sweet in pale blue organdie, carrying pink roses. Little Hazel Adams of Buffalo, in white silk, was a very attractive flower girl.

After the ceremony and congratulations, the guests repaired to the dining-room, which was tastefully decorated with green and white. A large white bell hung over the table, which was spread with all the delicacies one could wish for. The groom’s gift to the bride was a beautiful fur, to the bridesmaid and flower girl a ring. To the groomsman he gave cuff links. The bride’s going away suit was blue broadscloth and hat to match. The presents were numerous and costly, showing the esteem in which the contracting parties were held. They left on the evening train amid showers of rice and good wishes, for Hamilton, thence to New York and other eastern cities.

DOROTHY DIX: Shall Divorced Couple Who Still Love Remarry?

[The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 6 October 1931]

DEAR MISS DIX- I am a young divorcee, 22 years old, still deeply in love with the young man I married. Being an only child my parents think too much of me and I was badly spoiled and I divorced my husband because they wished it. He went with the wrong crowd after we were married, did not attend to his business, and I was unhappy and became sickly and went back home to mother and dad. But, after all, I love him and he did many things to make me happy, and now he says he will never love anyone else and wants for us up to try it over again. My parents forbid me to go back to him, but I am miserably unhappy. Do you think we could make a go of it again if we tried it over?


Probably. Possibly you have both had your lesson and will be wiser and more forebearing with each other. But if you do go back to your husband, make up your mind beforehand to stick it and not go running back to mother and father every time you and your husband do not agree.

When children defy their parents and marry against their wishes, they should, at least take the consequences of their own acts and not expect mother and father to have to pay the price of their mistakes. Nothing is more unfair than for a girl and boy to marry when they are mere children and before they have established themselves in business and then bring their husband or wife home to father and mother to support. Nothing is so beastly selfish as for young women to quarrel with their husbands over trifles and rush to the divorce court and then come back and dump their children on mother and father to rear and educate.

Doubtless your husband failed very much in his duty to you, but there is no worse matrimonial bet than an adored only daughter who had been petted and spoiled all her life by her father and mother and who expects her husband to continue the process and make a doormat of himself for her.

It seems to me that in your particular case remarriage might be a good thing, for you each have found out that if you could not be happy together you are still more miserable apart and perhaps your experience will enable you to get along better together.


Sisters Comment: Marriage is supposedly a life time commitment, but there are times when that contract to each other needs a most serious overhauling. If I may be so direct as to suggest, dear Patti, you and your special someone should loop the loop in a harmonious way for a period of some months before signing your names on the matrimonial dotted line.