Welland History .ca

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Fonthill News

[Welland Tribune, 28 August 1885]

On Tuesday last, 18th inst., our esteemed townsman, D. D’Deverardo, left for a sojourn at Saratoga Springs, to receive much needed treatment from his old medical advisor, Dr. Ford. He has our best wishes for his speedy restoration to his usual health.

Drowned In The Lake

[Welland Tribune, 2 July 1897]

Miss Myra Hopkirk, the nineteen –year-old daughter of Thomas F. Hopkirk, of Parkdale, was drowned in the lake 400 yards west of the Exhibition Park, through the upsetting of a canoe on Monday.



A Realistic Romance of Welland, in which a Number of Prominent Business Men Take a Very Conspicuous Part.

(Copyright 1897 By W.S.G)

[Welland Tribune, 22 October 1897]

Miss Summers-Polly-I-I-er-dare I-“ But the speaker took a header over bashfulness, only to hear a sweet

“Yes, Charley.”

“Can I aspire to-er-to-that-is”

Again a lapse into silence, followed by an encouraging

“Yes, Charley.”

“Oh if I might only hope to er-to-

Another failure of language. It was seemingly a hopeless case, and might have been only for a demure.

“Charley, I have said ‘yes’ twice, and if you mean it, I mean it, too, and-“

And to this day that young man will insist that he popped the question.

All this happened away “down east,” and it wasn’t long before there was a wedding. Not much longer before there came a letter from Polly’s Uncle Josh, out here, who wrote elusively of his delight at her exhibition of what he called “grit,” and he proposed that if the young people would locate at Welland he would start them up in life, as a wedding gift. Of course they accepted, and were soon bidding their friends adieu.

A few weeks subsequent to the above conversation a travel-stained party arrived in Welland. Our friend, Uncle Josh, was in charge and he led the party straightway to a hotel. “The Arlington,” said he, “is a typical Canadian hotel of the best class. I have known Nelson Pitton,, the proprietor for years and he is mine host after mine own heart, a through business man, endowed with that delightful intuition that makes a guest feel at home, comfortable, contented, and in mighty good luck. The house is one of convenience; the apartments are well furnished and the cuisine all that a superior cook and unlimited orders on the market can make it. I have engaged rooms here until your own house is in readiness.” With these remarks Uncle Josh graciously presented to Charles the deed of a cozy cottage.

“After breakfast,” said the old man, “I am ready to go and buy your outfit. To expedite matters I have ordered a carriage from A.D. White, our enterprising livery man.” When the handsome carriage with elaborate trappings and prancing horses drew up in front of the hotel Polly declared it the “finest turnout she had ever seen.” “Yes sir-ee,” replied Uncle Josh,” the three S’s. ‘Speed, Safety and Style’ is his coat of arms. So, young folks, when you want to take a drive, either for business or pleasure go to him for a rig every time. His wedding, party and funeral equipment are unsurpassed.” It was in this stylish turnout that the rounds of the town were made.

“Having provided you with a cage for the bird,” said Uncle Josh, “now the first thing we’ll look after will be the furnishings for it.” Hereupon Polly energetically declared that she had heard so much about A. Lawrence’s Red Rocker that she had decided to go there. The result was that they were ushered into such a bewildering display that the girl was at first at a loss how to select. But she soon yielded to the seductiveness of a magnificent parlor suite, a bedroom set in oak, antique finish, that would do credit to old Antiquity himself. To this she added a dining room set with all accessories, an easy rocker for Uncle Josh, and didn’t forget a most convenient and ornamental writing desk for “Hubby” Charles. And she remarked that she considered Mr. Lawrence’s prices below the whisper of competition.

“A pretty good start,” said the old man, and now we’ll go to P. McMurray’s big tinware and stove store. Here Polly’s housewifely instincts had full play in marvels of kitchen apparatus. “There is not an establishment in the country that carries a more comprehensive stock of household furnishings,” remarked Uncle Josh. “Every possible piece of kitchen furniture from a tin dipper to a cooking range is here in all styles and variety. If Polly fails to accomplish wonders in the culinary art, it will not be for want of superior cooking utensils, for she purchased a Grand Jewel steel range cook stove with all equipments needed in a well-regulated kitchen, besides an Ideal baseburner for the parlor, all of which Uncle Josh paid for with delight cause he knew Mr. McMurray had treated him right.

“But say, hold on a minute,” said the old man. “I propose that you shall have everything convenient and up to date about your house, and I guess it wouldn’t be a bad idea to talk with Mr. McMurray about putting in one of them famous acetylene gas machines. He is manager for the Acetylene Gas Machine company, and I tell you they are a great invention. And for a brilliant, cheap and safe light there ain’t nothing like it.” The idea struck Polly to a tee, so Uncle Josh then and there ordered their house fitted up for acetylene gas.

Woman-like, Polly was discussing the matter of how she would arrange her new house and was interrupted by Uncle Josh. “And these house fixins remind me, “says he “that you haven’t got your dishes yet.” The most famous stock in extent, quality and completeness is at S.H. Griffith’s China Hall. But the average reader need not be told what an array of table ware Polly had to select from. There isn’t positively, a thing in the line of china, crockery, glass or porcelain needed for use or ornament in any part of the house that cannot be found at S.H. Griffith’s immense variety and at wonderfully low prices. They also have a splendid stock of lamps of every description and decorated are in abundance. Polly’s big order suggested her thorough appreciation.

“Yes, and I must have an album, Uncle Josh,” quoth Polly, “and-“”Yes, and a bible with a reasonably big family register,” interrupted the old man, “so we’ll go in to B. Lundy’s book store. You’ll find many articles indispensable for the parlor as well as the library there, and as for variety, they have an unequalled stock.” So here Polly’s purchase included miscellaneous books, fancy stationery, all the latest agonies, bric-a-brac for all manner for the centre table, besides enough wall paper and window shades for every room of her house, and finding an immense assortment of magazines, periodicals and newspapers, also subscribed for everything in sight. Polly remarked to the generous old uncle, “Why, I don’t know when to quit buying. Mr. Lundy sells such nice goods, and so cheap, too.”

At this point, somewhat to the confusion of Charley, the old man indulged in a half serious criticism of his personal appearance. “You are decidedly off style for a townsman,” said he, “and we’d better go and see L.H. Pursel & Co., the fashionable merchant tailor and men’s furnishers, about some new duds. They are up-to-date people, understand the changing style and for fits and high-class workmanship this firm is especially noted, while on the other hand you’ll find a big stock of suitings which have been selected with care and rare good taste.  I’ll guarantee that you you’ll look more like a newly married am when you get togged out in one of Pursel & Co’s suits. Charley left his measure, before departing, found such a tempting array stylish hats and other men’s furnishings, that he got a whole outfit. When a few days later he was fully togged out, Polly declared she’s have fallen in love with him sooner had he been a patron of L.H. Pursel & Co.

“And in the matter of insurance,” continued Uncle Josh, “that is of importance. You will want a risk on your new house and furniture; then you can’t do a more sensible or satisfactory thing than to provide for your wife a paid-up policy in life insurance. Swayze & Son not only have lines of the solidest and best companies, but they are expert and trustworthy underwriters. They have a large number of companies, all of which belong to the old reliable category, being well-known for their prompt and satisfactory adjustment of losses. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll surely be safe in this agency.” Not only did Charles place his fire insurance with Swayze & Son, but also took out a $5,000 policy in the Canada Lafe, the best company of its kind in the world.

“There is another thing,” added Uncle Josh, “should you ever desire to take a vacation trip, Swayze & Son are the people to see about tickets. They issue railroad tickets to any point, east or west, on the North American continent, as cheap, if not sometimes cheaper, than you could otherwise procure them, even, besides, you’ll have the advantage of their experience in selecting good routes.” “Oh, we’ll remember that,” replied Charles.

“Oh me! Oh my!” ejaculated Polly as they halted before a show window, “what a perfectly lovely slipper.” “Yes, said Uncle Josh, “McCaw and Son’s stock can’t be equalled in style and extent in this section. Go in, look it over and get acquainted.” It might have been policy not to have extended that invitation, had not Uncle Josh known what wise economy it is to trade at McCaw & Son’s, for Polly found goods and prices so seductive that she purchased an outfit from a pretty slipper to a handsome walking boot. Charley, invested in gents fine shoes, while Uncle Josh indulged in a stout farm boot, with rubbers for the crowd. No one needing footwear can resist the styles and prices offered by McCaw & Son.

“Oh, Uncle Josh,” exclaimed Polly, “I surely will be lonely without a piano.” Uncle Josh was noticed to examine his bank book rather lugubriously. “Well, I guess I can stand it,” he said, “but, by the way, which piano would you most prefer?” “I think I’d like to have a Morris, which I understand is sold by J.M. Livingston. Several people have recommended it to me for its purity of tone, sympathy of touch, beauty of finish and a whole lot of other good points.” “You couldn’t choose a better instrument,” replied the old man, “and sure enough Mr. Livingston is the very man to see about it.” Polly selected the coveted Morris piano while Uncle Josh wrote out a check, pleasantly too-cause he knew the price was extremely reasonable.

“Let’s see-I promised you a gold watch, didn’t I,” queried Uncle Josh of Polly, “and Hamilton, the jeweler, is the man to sell us one cheap.” Entering the popular jewelry store the old man gallantly acquitted himself of the promise and then directed Polly’s attention to the superior stock of silverware carried by the house. “There is now other such house in town,” said the old man, “and I will guarantee the quality to be the very best. Pick out your family clock while here,” he added. “Hamilton carries a magnificent line. Don’t forget another fact,” he continues, “if Charley’s old turnip ever breaks down this is the place to fetch it for repairs,’ cause Hamilton is an expert doctor on sick watches, and can fix ‘em up good as new.”

“Halt!” commanded Uncle Josh, as the party came in front of F.J. Hardison’s handsome drug store, “Walk right in.” “Why uncle, we’re not sick, and –““Guess I know that, but I suspect it won’t be long before this young man begins to take an interest in matters of paregoric, etc., and-““Uncle!” “Well, go in anyway, Polly may find some toilet articles she wants.” Sure enough, before leaving she was loaded down with combs, brushes, face powders and ounces upon ounces of fine imported perfumes. “Don’t forget,” added Uncle Josh, “to come here with your prescriptions, as Mr. Hardison is a competent pharmacist and uses pure and reliable drugs.”

“Oh, say, Uncle,” exclaimed Polly, “where can I go for dry goods? This dress is hardly suitable, I must admit. “ “Well, my girl, if you want to select from one of the most popular establishments in town, I will direct you to the Ross Co., which carries a stock of dress goods that for variety and real value is seldom seen outside the largest metropolitan cities. This store has all the latest weaves in fashionable dress goods and you are sure to be guided right in your selections. You will find Mr. Ross pleasant to deal with and his employees polite and expert, while the prices cannot be duplicated.” It did not take Polly long to tell a bargain when she saw one, so after getting a lovely dress she turned her attention to the purchase of a stylish mantle, of which The Ross Co. show some extra choice values.

This delightful part of the programme over, Polly turned to Uncle Josh with a most natural question for a woman: “What about carpets, Uncle?” she asked. “Well, it does take you wimmin folks to think of things, but I tell you it won’t take me long to think where to get them carpets. The Ross Co. have got everything in carpets from linoleum for the kitchen up to axministers for the parlor. Step right upstairs and see for yourself.” Polly got something suitable for every room of her house, as well as rugs, table linens, lace curtains, and draperies. And her buying was rendered a pleasure by the kindly way her wants were attended, to and often anticipated by the popular firm known as The Ross Co.

While Uncle Josh was pondering where to go next, Polly suddenly asked: “Uncle, where can I find the leading millinery establishment?” “Just around the corner,” remarked Uncle Josh, “and we will visit Mrs. M. M. Johnson, who, by the way, has on hand one of the neatest stocks of stylish millinery to be found in the town. You can get what you want there, the latest styles and lowest prices being her motto. Mrs. Johnson’s experience guarantees that when you have purchased of her you have the thing according to fashion and a satisfaction that your work has been done by a competent artist. In a few hours there never was a happier girl than Polly, for the new bonnet she ordered turned out to be a perfect dream of loveliness.”

At this point Uncle Josh suggested that they all go to Ed. Hughes’ Bon-Ton restaurant for refreshments. Thither they repaired and regaled themselves in a lunch fit for the epicureans. “You will notice that everything is neat and clean about this place,” said Uncle Josh, “and if you like oysters and want to have the tempting bivalves served up about right in any style come to the Bon-Ton.”

“And another place I wish to take you, children, is to county clerk R. Cooper’s flour and feed store next door, remarked the old man. “Your introduction to Welland would not be half complete without. Talk about flour, why bless you there ain’t no flour that can come up to the kind he sells. He makes it a point to keep the choicest brands and all smart housewives make it a point to get their flour of him. Then as to feed, this store is headquarters for that. They handle everything from golden oats down, to corn cobs, serve customers with promptness and dispatch. I.ve been dealing with Mr. Cooper for a long time, and I tell you he is a good man to tie to.”

While Uncle Josh spoke he was noticed to examine his bank book in a hesitating way, “I do declare, my balance is almost exhausted,” he said,” and I reckon I’ll need to sell some wheat and clover seed, which fact makes it more important than ever that we see Mr. Cooper. He deals largely in wheat and clover seed, does an extensive shipping business, and maybe depended upon to pay a fellow the highest possible cash market price. Why, I never even think of selling my grain to anybody else but R. Cooper. Cause he is always ready to pay the top notch without quibbling and gee-hawin’ around all day with a fellow.” Uncle Josh thereupon introduced the young people and sold his wheat and clover seed at a good figure.

“But look here, Uncle,” interrupted the young man as they reached the street, “what about coal? We’ve got the stoves, but I reckon they won’t be of much service without fuel. We can’t keep fire on love alone, can we? ““Glad you mentioned it,” replied Uncle Josh. “Buying so much in one day kinder befuddles a fellow. Fortunately, however, it’s only a little distance to W.H. Crow’s coal office. He is my favorite dealer and handles coal which has no superior and few equals; it makes a hot fire, burns up clear, and don’t leave any clinkers. Fair measure, fair treatment and fair prices are what you’ll receive at the hands of W.H. Crow.” A big order was placed for the winter.

“I would like to make you acquainted with Dr. H. Weller, my dentist friend, too,” said the old man. “If you ever have to supplement your natural teeth.” “Ugh! Don’t you mention false teeth to me,” cried Polly. “I’ll never carry ‘pearly lies’ in my mouth if I go toothless. “Oh, as for that,” laughed Uncle Josh, “if you’ll only consult a good dentist in time, you can save the catastrophe. Dr. Weller, for instance, is wonderfully expert in saving natural teeth, and he has the skill and every mechanical appliance necessary to do his work with the least discomfort to his patrons.”

“By the way,” exclaimed Uncle Josh, with a paternal air, as they left the dental office, “the next thing to look after is the arrangement for those improvements which are absolutely necessary. Come with me and I’ll introduce you to Jno. E. Cutler, who is the principal contractor and builder for this county, and he has a well-equipped planning mill in connection. He carries a most complete line of building material-everything, from the sills for the foundation to the shingles for the roof, including doors and windows, mouldings, etc. It is pleasant to deal with Mr. Cutler, for his greatest aim is to give satisfaction to every customer. To have a building put up quickly, in good order and at a moderate cost Mr. Cutler is the man to consult.” The improvements were soon arranged for.

“Holy smoke, Charley, where is the name of creation did you get that snipe? That’s about the worst weed that ever came in contact with my olfactory nerve,” ;laughingly remarked Uncle Josh, “step in here to this cigar stand and get a F.C.B., then you’ll have a gentleman’s smoke. That cigar is a cracker jack, contains all the qualities of a delicious puff, F.R. Camray, the manufacturer, takes great pride to keep that cigar up to the highest standard, and consequently it grows more popular every day.” Charley was so well pleased with the F.C.B, Uncle Josh treated him with to that he bought a whole box and advised his friends to do the same, and forgetting to also speak of the fact that it was made here in Welland and he believed in patronizing home industry.

“Law sakes!” suddenly exclaimed Uncle Josh, “all this trading and shopping round town has caused me to forget one of the greatest essentials to future existence. I have heard it said that newly married folks could live on love and scenery, but an old man of experience knows better-your table would look slim without bread; it’s the ‘staff of life,’ you know. Polly, you must meet W.H. Crowther, the baker, His bread, pies and cakes and nicknacks are conceded by all to be the finest on earth. Remember, Charley, there is no use of your ‘ootsy tootsy’ bothering herself much about baking so long as there is a good baker in town like Mr. Crowther. He made that elegant cake I brought to your wedding.” “Yes, and everybody said it was just lovely,” remarked Polly.

“Yes, and while we are on this important topic of gastronomics, we must not forget meat. It goes hand in hand with bread. Now, to locate a meat market where you can get fresh wholesome meats at all times. W.J. Best is the man t supply you. This is the boss meat market in the town and is popular with everybody who is particular to have the best. The reason for this is all because he is very careful in the selection of stock and gets the freshest of everything and keeps nothing but the very best, in keeping with his name, you know. To keep your ‘Hubby’ in good humor, Polly, trade at W.J. Best’s market every time.”

“Now,” cried the old gentleman, “now for a picture of this crowd in good old country fashion, we’ll go to the photograph gallery, and H.G. Webb has a good one. His pictures are wonderful in fidelity and finish. I want one full-sized photo for my study and some small ones for my friends, and his aristo-platinos are absolutely permanent. Webb has the soul of a true artist; all his work is a labor of love, in which he will not stop short of perfection, and as he is famous for successful enlarging, I want to give you a life size representation of ‘yours truly.’ “. (Uncle Josh’s picture may be seen at Webb’s studio any time the reader desires to call.).

En route to their home the party called at THE TRIBUNE office. “You’ll want the news every week,” remarked Uncle Josh, “and as this is the favorite paper here I’ll subscribe.”

When they reached the house, all three were just about “tuckered out,” but a bottle of choice “Seagram’s ’83,” which, unknown to the young folks, Uncle Josh had ordered from Phelps, the wine and spirit merchant, soon revived them into a cheerful mood. While enjoying the mellow beverage-after warning the young folks against the evils of over indulgence in drink of any kind,-Uncle Josh imparted the information, however, that it would be advisable to keep something strictly pure about the house for medical purposes, you know. And in such events Mr. Phelps was the proper person to apply to for such extras, because that merchant keeps all the best brands in stock, and is an all-round good fellow. Anyone can see that Uncle Josh has a friendly feeling for Mr. Phelps.

Upon summing up the wonderful event of the day Polly began to volubly express thanks. “You have bought us everything, she exclaimed.

“Only one thing,” replied Uncle Josh reflectively, “but I can remedy that: A. Lawrence, the furniture man, always has a nice line of them and you can get one whenever you want it: I’ll pay for the best.”

“W-H-Y,” exclaimed Polly with great surprise, “Uncle what can it be?”

“Well it’s a baby carriage and –“

But Polly had fainted.


[Welland Tribune, 10 September 1897]

When G.C. Hopkins married his wife in Chicago five years ago, it was agreed by the two that the marriage should last for one year only. At the end of the year, according to the agreement, their marriage was void, but they had got along so well together that they resolved to be married again for 12 months. A second ceremony was performed, and life went on smoothly for another year. Since then Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins have married each year on the anniversary of their marriage. The ceremony has been performed five times, each time it being understood between the contracting parties that the promises made were binding for one year only. The ministers or magistrates who performed the various ceremonies were not let into the secret. They were simply asked to officiate in the marriage rites.


[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

The first recorded kiss was the treacherous one given by Jacob to his father Isaac, when the former was masquerading as Esau. It is the first in a series of deceitful kisses recorded in history. There is a famous kiss in the “Beggar’s Opera.” It was given by Macheath to Jenny Diver, and the unpleasant effect which it produced on him maybe judged from the sarcastic remark: “One may know by your kiss that your gin is excellent.” Petruchio gave his bride a kiss of enormous calibre. We are told that he “kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack that at the parting all the church echoed.” The kiss given by the Duchess of Devonshire to a butcher for his vote has almost a world-wide reputation. The butcher was bold and ingenious enough to demand a kiss as the price of his vote. It was gracefully given, and the recipient became known as the butcher Steele who kissed the Duchess. He thus increased his trade and gained historic fame. One would like to know the opinion of a duchess as to the difference in the flavor of a duke’s kiss and a butchers.


[Welland Tribune, 14 May 1897]

The dime-novel writer finds his occupation gone. Yellow journalism gratifies the morbid taste of the young much better than yellow literature. It can bring before the public gaze at a trifling cost a daily ghoulish feast. It can dress up crime and criminal tendencies in effects that are worse than realistic, because so vilely suggested. It can poison a thousand imaginations where the old dime purveyor of distorted fiction could affect one.

The base justification of this policy by those who pursue it is that the people want it. Many journals of once honorable name have drifted downward with that argument until they have become a hissing and a reproach among those who wish to see all the social forces kept pure and clean. They do not realize their own degradation. Action and reaction are equal, and finally they are at a loss, to understand why the better elements of society, and self-respecting organisations generally, resent the audacious and shameless diurnal parade of all the more disgusting details which their muck-rakes have lifted from the pestilential sewers of crime and misery. If there was the same effort made to exalt virtue and set it as a beacon-light before the people that there is to magnify and intensity details of vice, the influence of journalism upon politics, upon social order, upon the education of youth and the healthful direction of youthful ambition, would be of incalculable value. But competition is at is most feverish heat upon the lower levels. Public opinion must make this a losing business. –Boston Transcript.


[Welland Tribune, 14 May 1897]

Several itinerant umbrella fixers have been hovering about our town the past week, and on Wednesday night one of them jumped into the canal, swam to the centre of the channel and sank to his death.

The facts of the case seem to be about as follows: James Lennard and his chum, Dorrissy, were walking along the canal bank opposite Tuft’s old hotel, M.C.R. Junction, about 10.30 p.m., when Lennard, said, “I’m going to swim in the canal.” Lennard, Dorrissy says, then plunged in and swam nearly to the centre sinking beneath the water. Dorrissy called for help three times and two men from the tower responded, who said that there was no boat at hand. Dorrissy then met two men, and with them came to Welland and notified police officer White, who in turn notified Coroner Cumines. The latter ordered the body grappled for, but it was not recovered till about 9 o’clock yesterday morning. Lennard is a man of about 5 ft. 6 in. in height, reddish hair, and Dorrissy says is 32 years of age. The two chums had been drinking heavily in Buffalo and had agreed to come to Canada, together to “sober up”-Lennard at least fully carrying out his part of the promise. Dorrissy does not think that Lennard intended to commit suicide, as he was not drunk at the time, but of course was suffering from the effects of a debauch.

Dorrissy says Lennard is American born, but that he has no relatives in Buffalo or anywhere else that he knows of. The deceased had been boarding at 11 Peacock street, Buffalo, and was said to have been a plumber by trade.

The facts were laid before County Attorney Cowper, who deemed an inquest quite proper, and the hour for holding the same was fixed at 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon by Coroner Cumines.

The inquest was begun at 2.30 before Coroner Cumines, with John R. Dowd as fireman of the jury, and resulted in the following verdict.

“That the deceased, James Lennard, came to his death on the 13th day of May, 1897, at the township of Crowland, in the Welland canal, by drowning, while under a fit of temporary insanity.”

It was evidently a case of delirium tremens, Lennard having repeatedly stated somebody was after him; and in fact jumped into a creek a day or two prior, and was pulled out by his chum. It is now said that he was a grain shoveler, not a plumber.

The body was not claimed, and will today be shipped to the school of anatomy, Toronto.


[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

SPANNING the noisy torrent of Niagara’s famous gorge, there are now three distinct types of bridges- suspension, cantilever and arch. Of the three the arch bridge now in course of erection is, perhaps, the most interesting, because it is a radical change from the ordinary methods of modern bridge-building. The imagination must supply the bold ingenuity of the designers and the fearlessness of the workmen who have been engaged in bolting the hug structure together, For each side of the arch was only held from plunging into the river by a unique anchorage system. Had one of these anchors by accident given way the disaster would have meant great loss of life-for no man could hope to come out of those rapids alive-and serious money loss to the contractors.

The new bridge is being built to replace the old railway suspension bridge at Suspension Bridge, the first structure ever thrown across the Niagara gorge, and is designed to accommodate the immense traffic, constantly increasing, between the West and the East. As R.S. Buck, the engineer in charge says, “This point is the neck of the bottle. It chokes back the immense quantities of freight to the injury of consignor and consignee, and we propose to relieve the situation by building a double track structure of greater carrying capacity, which will be sufficient to care for the needs of traffic for many years, if not for all time to come.”

The old suspension bridge carried but one railway track, with a passage for carriages and pedestrians underneath. The new structure will carry double tracks on its upper deck and a road below for carriages, street railway and pedestrians. The old bridge, built by John A. Roebling in 1854-6, was originally designed with a maximum carrying capacity of 200 tons. The builders then were of the impression that the requirements would never be greater than that. But a very few short years showed them that they had greatly miscalculated the attractions of quick transportation between the west and east and in the 70s’ Engineer L.L. Buck was employed to reinforce the anchorages of the bridge and put in a stiffening truss so as to increase the sustaining strength of the structure to 350 tons, or nearly double its former requirements. Trains and engines, however, continued to increase in weight and these extra provisions were soon exhausted. It was conceded years ago that a new bridge was a necessity but the great cost of a new structure delayed its construction.  Work finally began in April 1896, and has continued uninterruptedly until the present time. It is believed that the finishing touches will have been added to the bridge long before the heavy autumn traffic begins. Built to maximum requirement of 4,000 tons, more than ten times the capacity of the bridge which is being replaced, it ought to relieve all congestion.

The new bridge is being built around the old structure without any interruption to railway traffic. The grades of the upper and lower floors will not be materially changed. This will facilitate the removal of the old structure as soon as the contractors are ready to lay the tracks on the upper deck of the new bridge. The old bridge will be removed by sections and the new tracks are laid and the engineers are confident of being able to substitute the one for the other, with very slight interruption to traffic. It is one of the engineering feats of the century, and interest will not decline as long as work upon it continues.

The arch rests on massive masonry abutments built against the solid rock. A great steel shoe rests against the abutments and from its arms extend the first sections or panels of the arch. These panels are 34 feet long and four feet thick and the main ribs weigh about 32 tons. The two arms of the arch were built out like cantilevers until they met in the centre of the span, being held back on both sides by in ingenious system of anchors. These anchors are imbedded 20 feet below the surface of solid rock. In shape they resemble an inverted T and ten times the weight of the arms of the arch would not pull them out of their rocky bed. The anchors are connected to one end of an immense diamond-shaped adjusting link, from the other end of which the anchorage connection is attached to the arch, holding it firmly in place. The intermediate joints of the diamond are connected by a huge screw which widens or narrows it at will and correspondingly contracts or relaxes the supporting chain. Certain control is thus gained over the arms, which is necessary when the last panels are put in place as the practical keystone of this arch. As soon as the final sections are in position the usefulness of the anchors is gone. The sidewalk brackets of the permanent structure are used to carry out the material used for erection. At the end of the tramway the heavy panels were carried by these great travelling derricks and deposited in position with remarkable precision. The connecting panels were put in their places on Sunday, March 28th last, but there is much yet to be done before the bridge is ready for trains.

An evidence of the contractors’ confidence in the stability of the new structure is given in their plans for the removal of the old bridge, which will be taken off the supporting cables section by section and permitted to rest its weight on the new arch, trains running over the whole at the same time. As a whole the construction of this new bridge is a marvelous piece of engineering and ranks with other work of Chief-Engineer L.L. Buck, whose reconstruction of the old bridge in former years without disturbing the railway time tables stamped him as a man of high standing in his profession.

The old bridge was 18 1/2 feet wide. The new bridge is 47 ½ feet wide in the lower floor. The roadway on the lower floor will be 25 ½ feet wide with a single trolley track in the centre, and there will be walks on each side eleven feet in width. The arch span from pier to pier is 550 feet. The rise of the arch is 114 feet and the distance from the water to the top floor of the new structure will be about 240 feet. End spans 115 feet long connect with the top of the bluff and there are plate-girder approaches at each end 145 feet long, making a total length of new bridge of 1.070 feet. Seven million pounds of steel have been used in the building of this wonderful arch and it will cost the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge company a round $500,000.

This company is an amalgamation of two companies, one composed entirely of Canadians and the other wholly of Americans. The Canadian board is composed of Thos. R. Merritt, St. Catharines, Ont., president; William Hamilton Merritt, Toronto; John L. Rannie, Toronto; Charles Riordon, Merritton; Judge E.J. Senkler, St. Catharines; J.G. Riordon and D.R. Wilkie of Toronto..

The American board is composed as follows: George L. Burrows, Saginaw, Mich., president; Lorenzo Burrows; Ezra G. Coann, Albion; A.C. Burrows, Albion; Charles C. Morse, Rochester.

The members of these boards form the joint board of directors, of which Thos. R. Merritt of the Canadian board is the present president.

The chief engineer, L.L. Buck, ranks as one of the foremost bridge engineers in the world. He designed and built several large bridges for South American railroads among which the Verrugas cantilever was the most celebrated. He also built a number of bridges for the Northern Pacific railroad, and designed and built the Driving Park Avenue and Plattstreet bridges in Rochester. His most celebrated work, however, was in connection with the old railway suspension bridge now being replaced. He reinforced the anchorages, replaced the old wooden stiffening truss with one of metal and the old stone towers with towers of iron, all without suspending traffic. He designed the 840 foot arch intended to replace the upper suspension bridge, near the Falls, which will be built, doubtless, in the not distant future. He is now chief engineer of the suspension bridge in course of erection across East river between New York and Brooklyn.



[Welland Tribune, 30 April 1897]

Early on Tuesday morning as August Thomas was going along the road running east and west past William Hixon’s farm on Thorold township. He was startled to discover the body lying in the ditch by the roadside. There was only about 18 inches of water in the ditch, and the man’s body lay on his back in it, his head being a few inches under water. The man was dead. The body was recognized as that of a tramp who had been about Port Robinson the day before. In fact he had passed through Port during the past two summers, but no one knew his name. His tracks had led from Mr. Hixon’s barn, and it is supposed after passing the night there he had come out on the road very early in the morning and had been seized with a fit or paralysis and had fallen into the water, either dying from the effects of the fit or being drowned whilst insensitive under the stroke. The case was referred to Coroner Cumines who did not consider an inquest necessary.

The body was that of a man of about 70 years of age, apparently well nourished, but poorly dressed. Rather a heavy built man; with sandy complexion. He had two sticks with him, one of which had belonged to a piece of machinery in Mr. Hixon’s barn. The sticks he used to assist in walking, being slightly lame. There was no money found upon his person, nor anything by which the man might be identified, and the body was sent to the Toronto school of anatomy.


She Does her Work as a Man Does His

The Pet of the Force

[Welland Tribune, 2 April 1897]

The new woman has broken out in a new spot. This time it is the constabulary of the city of Alleghany, Pa., which she has invaded. Miss Florence Klotz can scarcely be called even a woman constable, though for she is only 18 years old. But she’s a constable all right. She serves warrants, summonses and subpoenas with all the authority and determination of a male minion of the law. Miss Klotz’s father is an alderman, whose regular constable was an old man who had an inconvenient way of being sick or invisible when he was wanted for duty. On one of these occasions, about two months ago, the despairing alderman pressed his daughter into service. That settled the matter. The girl constable proved to be the pluckiest, quickest, most reliable one in town. Her very first mission was to serve a subpoena on a farmer living four miles east of town. Miss Florence put on her bloomers, mounted her wheel and went after her man. When she came back, tired, muddy, but triumphant, she found a crowd in front of her father’s office to welcome her.

“I served them, papa,” she exclaimed, and then, womanlike, she cried, even though she was a constable.

She says she would rather deal with 100 men than with 10 women. The women think it is a joke, but the men think that the law must be obeyed even if it is embodied in an 18-year old girl. Before she went into the constabulary she wheeled through Alleghany county getting trade for her father’s candy factory. Next summer she and her sister will ride a tandem, geared to 68, on the same errand. She is described as slight and handsome, with raven black hair and snapping black eyes.

In one case Miss Klotz acted as councillor as well as constable. A butcher had kicked in the door when he found his hallway locked up by the baker who, with his family, occupied the rest of the house. The locking was by order of the landlord, who demanded that it be done at 10 p.m. The butcher was sued for malicious mischief. Miss Klotz brought subpoenas for witnesses, arranged the details of the hearing, cross examined the witnesses and finally had the case dismissed on her recommendation that each of the parties be furnished with keys. The costs were divided, and the young lawyer-constable smiled with delight as she counted over her share.

The only unruly case she has run across was a youngster of 14 who refused to go with her. She took the dilemma by the horns and the boy by the collar, tripped him up, and with a handy copy of “Pilgrim’s Progress” administered a series of businesslike blows where they would do the most good and led him weeping to court. A little jeweled revolver is her only weapon. It was presented to her by a big constable who was filled with admiration of her pluck. She says she doesn’t know what she would do if she ran against an ugly customer, but she declared, with a snap of her black eyes, that she would get him. She is the pet of the municipal force, and if she ever sent word for help the entire retinue of clerks, heads of departments and underlings would turn out to the rescue of Constable Florence. –St. Louis Globe-Democrat.