The Month That Was – March 1868

All articles originally appeared in the Oshawa Vindicator

March 4, 1868, page 2
Toll Cask – On Monday, Messrs. GH Grierson and W Karr were brought before the Reeve, charged by WH Thomas, with not closing up their fences and thus allowing persons to pass over their property in order to avoid paying toll. The case was adjourned until Saturday next.

Village Council
The council held a special meeting on Saturday evening for the purpose of passing a license by law, and granting licenses for 1868….

Mr. Gibbs, seconded by Mr. Wilcox, introduced a license by-law. The by-law limited the number of Tavern licenses to five, and shop licenses to two. It required Tavern keepers and applicants for a shop license to give a bond with two sureties in the sum of $200 for the proper observances of the provisions of the license act. The village fee is placed at $70, and a shop license at $65. In addition a stamp fee must be paid of $5 each, making the total $75 for Tavern and $65 for shop license. The bar room is to be closed and lights out at seven o’clock on Saturday evenings, and not later than eleven on other evenings. No liquor is to be sold to a person whilst in a state of intoxication, or to any person under eight years of age.— No quarreling, fighting, obscene, or profane language is to be allowed, about the present premise, as also no gambling or raffle. No liquor shall be sold to any person addicted to liquor, after having been requested not to do so by the wife of such person, or by the license inspector. No shopkeeper holding a shop license shall sell less than a quart, and this must not be drank on the premises. No liquor is to be sold after 7:00 o’clock on Saturday evening period of fine of $20 is levied for an infraction of the bylaws.

Mr. Gibbs, seconded by Mr. Glenn, moved that certificates for Tavern licenses be granted to Malachi Quigley, Michael Brooks, DH Merritt and Alphonso Hinds, on production to the Reeve, of the treasurers certificate for the payment of the sum of seventy dollars, and the required bond as set forth in the bylaw.

Mr. Quigley, who was present, complained of the large amount of the license, and still more strongly of the provisions requiring two sureties. He however took out the license.

The Snow Storm
The oldest inhabitant has declared that the snowstorm of Monday and Tuesday, the 23rd and 24th ult., was, unmistakably, the severest ever remembered. Although it extended all over that part of the province west of Toronto, and its eastern limits scarcely reached beyond Belleville, Toronto in its neighborhood seemed to be its centre. In some other places more snow may have fallen, yet here the drifts were higher and more numerous. The drifts in our own neighborhood range from an occasional giant of 14 or 15 feet downwards. The roads north and south were completely blocked. Some of them still remain so; the only outlet being through the woods and fields. Simcoe Street seemed to suffer worse than most others. In many places, the snow extended for a considerable length of perfect level from fence to fence, and in some cases burying the topmost rails. On Wednesday, the stage started for the north, and after five hours driving through woods and fields, managed to reach Columbus, but then had to return to Oshawa again. North of Prince Albert, the drifts were not so bad; The Manilla stage on Wednesday making its regular trip. On the next day, Simcoe Street was dug out, and it now presents, for this part of the Dominion, a curious spectacle, the road consisting of a narrow canal, in some places 6 feet deep with occasional switches excavated in the high snowbanks to enable teams to pass each other. The mail routes from the north were in an equally impassable state.

No council –  the East Whitby Council had no session on Monday. – On account of the storm, the Reeve was unable to get even to Oshawa. He got stuck in a drift, and it was with difficulty he got out. A meeting of the council will be held on Monday next. Pathmasters and others will please take notice.

March 4, 1868, p1

March 11, 1868, page 2
Valuable Property – In another column will be found the advertisement of Mr. M. Luke, offering his residence and adjoining land for sale. Lying on the street between the town and the railway station, and midway between both, it is one of the small number of pieces of property left for sale on this, the most growing street in the town. – Mr. Luke will, we believe, sell very cheaply.

34th Battalion – The following appointments have been gazetted for No. 8 Columbus Company: Lieu. JE Farewell to be Captain, and Ensign Scurrah to be Lieutenant.

Page 3
Union Burying Ground

Near the Residence of Rev. Dr. Thornton, Main Road

As these grounds are very desireabe for location and beauty, parties wishing to purchase lots are respectfully informed that they may have an opportunity by applying to the undersigned or to the care taker, James Carruthers, on the premises.

Alex. Burnet
Chairman of the Committee
Oshawa, March 2nd, 1868

Dr. Clarke
Begs to announce to his friends that he has resumed the practice of his profession, and may be found, as heretofore, at his own Cottage, corner of Athol and Centre Streets, Oshawa
Nov. 25th, 1867

March 11, 1868, p2

March 18, 1868, page 2
St. Patrick’s Day – Yesterday was the festival of Ireland’s Patron Saint. The only speciality here was the holding of a service in the Catholic Church. Everything was quiet; a great contrast to former years, when the day was certain to be celeb rated by a general fight. Yesterday’s celebrations throughout the country were marked by an unusual good feeling and unanimity amongst Irishmen. At Ottawa, Mr. McGee was feted by a union party of Irish Protestants and Catholics; and in Montreal, besides the usual ceremonies in the Church and in the street, there was a social dinner of Irish friends at the St. Lawrence Hall, at which all differences were to be forgotten.

Snow Cases – On Friday last, indefatigable Constable Gurley, at the instigation of the Reeve, summoned some 30 or 40 ratepayers to come to court and be fined for neglecting to clear the snow from the sidewalks in front of certain premises owned or occupied by them. The list was a most respectable one –  being headed by TN Gibbs, Esq, MP, and Dr. McGill, MPP. The majority duly made their appearance at 9:00 o’clock on Saturday morning , and as it was their first appearance, the Reeve allowed them to go provided the sidewalks were cleared that day. As the number of rods to be cleared was many, and the laborers just then a few, some had no resource but to take off their coats and do it themselves. The sidewalks were cleared, but from the bent manner in which several walked, and the agonized way in which the dexter arm was placed on the small of the back, they had evidently become acquainted with manual labour for the first time.

March 18, 1868, p3

March 25, 1868, page 2
Board of School Trustees
Still meeting of the Board of School Trustees was held on Wednesday evening. Present: the Chairman and Messrs. Carmichael, Gibbs, Hodder, Boyd, Fairbanks, Glen and Edwards.

The chairman read some very favorable testimonials in favor of Miss Victoria Halton, now teaching at Prescott. After hearing from Mr. McCabe, who had visited several applicants, Mr. Fairbanks, seconded by Mr. Glen, moved that the secretary be empowered to offer the situation of assistant teacher to Miss Victoria Halton, at a salary of $425 per annum.

The selection of a teacher to fill the vacancy in the second division was left in the hands of the Committee of School Management, in Connection with the Chairman of the Board and the Principal of the School.

March 25, 1868, p3

The Month That Was – August 1872

All articles originally appeared in the Ontario Reformer

August 2, 1872

Sir John A. Macdonald is earnestly striving to keep Ontario down, by narrowing her boundaries; and is determined to take from her large portion of the western extremity of the Province, including much of the mineral region.  Mr. Gibbs is aiding Sir John in the robbing of Ontario, and wants to be re-elected to Parliament to assist in the completion of the spoliation.

Vote for White, and thus aid in checkmating the curtailment of our territory.

August 2, 1872, page 2

The return match between the Cedar Dale and Oshawa Base Ball Clubs was played on Friday last, and won by the latter club by 25 runs. Only five innings were played. The first game was won by Cedar Dale by nine runs in nine innings.  The third and decisive game will shortly be played, when an interesting time is expected.

The statement in the Vindicator that Mr. Farewell had promised the Dominion nomination to Mr. White, is utterly false – as are all trumped up Vindicator stories of a like nature, got up for the sole purpose of injuring the reform party.

Page 3

Lost
On Sunday, 21st inst. either in Whitby Town or between Whitby and Oshawa, a brown silk umbrella.  The finder will be suitably rewarded by leaving it at the Reformer Office, Oshawa.

August 9, 1872

Page 2

The three cases of assault, which were to have been tried to-day, have been postponed till Monday next, at 10 o’clock am.

Grace Marks received her pardon on condition that she would leave this country never to return.  She left Kingston on Tuesday, for the United States

*From the Canadian Encyclopedia, Grace Marks “was convicted in 1843 at the age of 16 for the murders of Thomas Kinnear, her employer and a wealthy Upper Canadian living in Richmond Hill, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress.” Her fictionalized story was told in the 1996 Margaret Atwood novel, Alias Grace. More info: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/alias-grace, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/mysterious-murder-case-inspired-margaret-atwoods-alias-grace-180967045/

August 9, 1872, page 1

August 16, 1872

Page 2

Mr. Daniel Hinkson having purchased the 75 acres known as the “Karr” property situate to the east of the furniture factory, intends laying it out in Village and Park lots, which he will offer for sale at reasonable rates. The situation is good and healthy, and commands a fine view of the village and surrounding country.

August 16, 1872, page 2

Village Council
A meeting of the Village Council was held on Tuesday evening. Present: the deputy reeve, in the chair, and Messrs. Like and Cameron.

The fire brigade made application for $60 to defray expenses to pic-nic on 5th September.  $50 was granted to them.  The Brigade also made application for a new bell.

Several accounts were passed, and ordered to be paid.

August 16, 1872, page 3

August 23, 1872

Page 2

We are glad to see that the bridge on the Base Line, north of Brook’s hotel, is being repaired, but it was not before it needed it

Immediately after the torch-light procession passed on Wednesday evening, a lighted torch was discovered on the roof of Quigley’s hotel.  How it got there we have been unable to find out. But certain it is, had it not been seen at the time the hotel would have been burned.

Theft – A young man who gave his name as William Smith, was apprehended on Tuesday and brought before John Parker, Esq., for having entered the house of Mr. Thos. Henderson, Dunbarton, while the family were at the funeral of Mrs. Synott, and stolen a watch, which was found upon him when captured, and sworn to by the owner as his property.  Smith accounted for the watch by saying that he bought it from a stranger on the road for two dollars, all the money he had. He was committed to gaol to await his trial at the [Assizes].

August 23, 1872, page 3

Page 4

Notice
Notice is hereby given that I will not be responsible for any debts contracted by my son, William James Sulley
William Sulley
Darlington, June 12, 1871.

August 30, 1872

Page 2

The 20th annual exhibition of the South Ontario Agricultural Society will be held in Whitby on the 19th and 20th of September next. Over $2,000 in prizes will be offered.

Geo. Brown and the Globe still lives to do honor to Canada.  It was feared by some that the powerful (?) letter from the pen of Jno. B. Harris (and Webster’s Dictionary) published in the Mail, of Wednesday last, would prove fatal to Mr. Brown and his mighty paper; but, luckily for the Dominion, they have both survived.  Try again, Mr. Harris.

Johnson Graham, late P.D. in this office, met with a severe accident on Saturday last.  He, with a few of his chums, went out shooting with an old rusty gun.  Graham was to take the first shot, but was advised by some of the boys not to fire the gun for fear it should burst. Their advise was unheeded, and greatly to the dismay of Graham, the gun shot from both ends, the breech flying out and striking him on the head, fracturing his skull, and slightly stunning him.  He soon recovered, went to the creek and washed the blood off, and then walked up to Dr. Coburn’s office, where the wound was dressed and a few pieces of bone taken out.  He was then taken home, where he now lies. He is in great hopes of soon being able to go shooting again, but not with a rusty gun.

A house was haunted in Saginaw, Michigan, and a thorough investigation revealed a venerable woodpecker in an inner room.

Celebrating 100 Years of Lakeview Park

Lakeview Park officially opened in 1920, and for over 100 years, it has been a place of rest and recreation, of memorable summer days and wild winter storms!

To celebrate this history, the Oshawa Museum launched an online exhibit, which is divided into three sections: Before the Park, Lakeview Park, and the Park Today.

Explore this online exhibit and read about different aspects of the park’s history, like the story of the Ocean Wave, the Pavilions past and present, or about the buffalo that called the park home!

In our latest post, curator Melissa Cole delves into the early history of the Oshawa Harbour.

New posts are being added frequently! Visit https://lakeviewparkoshawa.wordpress.com/ to read all about it!

Student Museum Musings – The Oshawa Centre

By Mia V., Summer Student

Hi all! I’m very glad to be back for my third summer here at the Oshawa Museum. Over the past two months or so, I have been continuing to research and work on the upcoming exhibit, Leaving Home, Finding Home in Oshawa: Displaced Persons and Stories of Immigration. If you or someone you know have any connection to this period of post-World War II immigration, we would love to hear from you! Additionally, as you might know, we have an online exhibit where you can see some of the stories, documents, and photographs that have been shared with us so far: https://oshawaimmigrationstories.weebly.com/

Stefan Malish’s ID during his time working at Brompton and Paper. This is the back of the ID which features “useful information” such as conversion rates and tips on applying for Canadian citizenship.

The uncertainty of the past several months has made familiar places very strange! While running some errands at “the” mall – that is Oshawa Centre (or the OC) – for the first time in a while, I found myself wondering about its history, as one does…

The original 1956 logo for the Oshawa Shopping Centre as it appeared in the Toronto Daily Star on October 31st of that year. The mall was advertised as “Canada’s most beautiful shopping centre.”

Construction of the Oshawa Shopping Centre began on July 22, 1955, when the mayor “turned the first sod.” Doors opened on November 1, 1956, and eager anticipation was in the brisk morning air. The crowds waiting, apparently numbering 10,000 in all, were in for a day filled with fun prizes and gaining a glimpse of what this new construction – a “mall” – was all about.

Ax997.26.1: The Oshawa Shopping Centre ca. 1967. We can see an early phase of construction prior to the enclosing of the mall and addition of a Sears store.

While we have very much gotten used to waiting in lines for stores to open as of late, malls have seemingly always been the primary institution of North American consumer life. At this time however, in the early 1950s, they were a very recent innovation by Austrian Jewish architect Victor Gruen. Inspired by the quintessential European experience, where one strolled casually from shop to shop, Gruen invented the outdoor shopping mall with the intent of encouraging a more slow-paced and social experience.[1]

1968 Ad, as appeared in the Oshawa Journal, March 13, 1968 (A999.19.282).

One of the developers of the Oshawa Shopping Centre, John P. van Haastrecht, made similar connections between the necessity of the mall and a post-war society which had seen rapid changes – especially noting the impact of the suburbs and widespread ownership of cars. Oshawa was considered to be the perfect place for a mall – car ownership and average household income were both reportedly quite high in the city with a population just nearing 50,000. For that reason, the mall often boasted of being “one of the five outstanding Shopping Centres on the North American continent” when it first opened.

Over the years, we’ve all gotten quite used to the Oshawa Centre changing its face! If you’re like me, spending a lot of time at the mall growing up, you probably have quite a few memories attached to certain iterations of it.

In 1968, the mall was enclosed – a roof added over the existing stores – and Sears joined Eaton’s, Hudson’s Bay, and Loblaws as anchor stores. Three years later, in 1971, an office tower was added, along with Famous Players cinemas (both of which you can see in the above photos). Seven more years after that, the south end of the mall was added and a second level as well. In 1989, there were 125 new stores added and the theatre was renovated. Four years later, in 1993, the food court was transformed with a 1950s theme – its signature black and white checkered tiles and overall design calling back to the decade when the mall was built. Finally, most recently, there was the 2016 renovation. A whole wing was added with several dozen new stores and the overall look of the mall was redesigned as well.

Ax995.308.1b / East side of the Oshawa Centre, 1990s.

Of course, in very recent weeks, the social aspect imagined by the Oshawa Centre’s original developers is lacking, with all seating areas being closed off to encourage social distancing. Moreover, the impact of technology – or, more specifically, of online shopping – has also changed the reality of the mall as a social space. In any case, what becomes clear is that a building is never just a building – but rather more like a reflection of the society that built (and repeatedly changed!) it.


[1] Ian Bogost, “When Malls Saved the Suburbs from Despair,” The Atlantic (February 17, 2018), https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/02/when-malls-saved-cities-from-capitalism/553610/.

Student Museum Musings – Tour-less no longer

By Adam A., Summer Student

Hello! I am Adam, you may recall me from previous years’ summer student musings. This year I am the Summer Heritage Gardener, which naturally means that I am working on creating entries for one of the museum’s web projects. All joking aside I do work in the gardens on Fridays, which provides a nice change of pace from researching and writing about various historically relevant sites around Oshawa.

Normally, being called away to lead a tour would provide a break from my desk work. However, prior to this week we haven’t been conducting any tours due to COVID-19. Working at the museum without running any tours has been an interesting experience. Leading tours was always a high point of my day. I always really appreciated the chance to stretch my legs and interact with people. I would have the tour script and all manner of additional factoids memorized, and I would be eager to see what the visitors find most interesting or engaging.

Tuesday, July 14 was the museum’s first tour. However the new system for tours is quite different from what it would normally be.

As I’m sure most of you can remember, a tour would normally be arranged on the spot in Guy House.  It would normally start by heading out to Robinson House to see the temporary exhibit and the Indigenous history exhibit. After that it would normally head over to Henry House to see what a mid-1800s home would look like. After that I personally liked to conclude with a visit to the drive shed to see the carriages through the glass doors. Tours take anywhere from 20 minutes to over and hour.

Precisely none of that applies this year. Tours are booked online for a specific time slot. The tour is of Henry House. Visitors are to download/stream an audio tour which will guide them through Henry House – our podcast channel, Oshawa Musings, is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and through our Podcast hosting website. A staff member, such as myself, will be present to answer any additional questions and wipe down any surfaces that the visitor touches, but the audio tour is meant to do the guiding and presenting. Tours will be strictly limited to the time block that was booked online.

One commonality between the two tours is that they both conclude with the offer to go to Guy House to visit the gift shop and gallery space. The gift shop has been modified to minimize points of contact, and the Verna Conant Gallery will play host to a photograph based exhibit.

This is a very different sort of tour from what is normally offered, but it is hoped that this will minimize instances of close contact between visitors and staff/surfaces. I look forward to seeing how these new tours work out!