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The Rise and fall of the Fonthill Nurseries

Once a thriving industry, now just old memories

By Jim Middleton, Tribune Reporter

[Welland Tribune Mon. March 1, 1976]

Fonthill Nurseries hasn’t sold a twig since 1968, or a shrub or a bush—yet the influence of that firm which flourished for well over 100 years in the Pelham area is still felt and seen.

At its peak, the nursery owned or rented more than 1,000 acres of land and provided employment for up to 250 residents of the area, and for dozens more all across this land working as sales agents on behalf of the Fonthill-based business.

A recently written letter commenting on the subject of the loss of the nursery to the area summed up succinctly the feeling of many about the nursery.

“The dissolving of Stone and Wellington will remove the last vestige of the renowned Fonthill Nurseries,” the letter stated.”This was a proud and economically valuable operation for nearly 100 years. Up until the end of the Second World War it was an operation where jobs could be found even in depressed times and, consequently, was always looked to with hope by those out of work.”

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