Easter Greetings

Happy Easter from the Oshawa Museum!  Here’s a glimpse at Easter in our collection.

From the Oshawa Museum Collection

 

Postcards in the Archival Collection

 

An Easter display at Eaton’s in the Oshawa Centre, from the Oshawa Museum photography collection (A999.19.654-658)

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Where The Streets Get Their Names – Annis Street

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

The street names of the former community of Cedardale are wonderful tributes to those who called this area home.  The former Henry Street was named after Thomas Henry, Guy Avenue after the Guy family, Thomas Street after Thomas Conant.  Businesses like Whiting and Robson also have their place on Oshawa’s map.  Annis Street is no different, likely named for David Annis.  The following biography of David Annis is from the Oshawa Historical Society’s Historical Information Sheets.

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David Annis

David Annis was born on April 5, 1786, the son of Charles Annis, a United Empire Loyalist from Massachusetts.  Charles crossed the Niagara River into Canada in 1793, staying in York, now Toronto, and Scarborough Heights before joining his friend Roger Conant in what is now Oshawa.

David established himself as a prominent citizen through his many business dealings.  Although he was uneducated, and could not even write his own name, David had excellent, natural, business ability. In 1808 he was a fur trader with the local Indigenous population.  He sold the furs in Montreal, which made him a very wealthy man.

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“Daniel Conant’s Lumber Mill” Print by ES Shrapnel, from Upper Canada Sketches by Thomas Conant

One of the most noteworthy achievements of David Annis was the construction, along with Daniel Conant, of a lumber mill, located on Oshawa Creek.  A dam was built under the frame mill to provide power, and most of the white pine in the area was sawn there.  The lumber was floated down the Oshawa Creek, (which was then much larger).  Conant and Annis were also involved in ship building, building the schooner Lord Durham around 1836, which was said to be one of the first vessels in this part of Canada. Wood from the lumber mill was loaded onto the schooners owned by Conant and Annis, and was transported to Oswego, Sodus, Niagara, Kingston, as well as many other ports located on Lake Ontario. Lumber from the mill was also used in Oshawa to construct buildings such as the J.B. Warren Flour Mill.

David Annis acquired a great deal of land, which eventually came into the possession of Daniel Conant. On October 3, 1845, it is recorded that David Annis sold 175 acres of land to Daniel Conant, for one hundred pounds. Land was also sold to John Shipman and other settlers.

David Annis was said to have been a man of fine heart, a friend to the poor and hospitable to all.  He never married, and had no children.  He spent his last years living with the Daniel Conant family, and died on May 28, 1861, at the age of 75.

David was buried in the Harmony Burial Ground, but was exhumed nineteen years after his death, in 1880, by Thomas Conant, son of Daniel Conant.  It is unknown why the casket was opened, but it has been recorded that all who were present were shocked by the excellent condition of the body.  David was moved to the Union Cemetery, where Daniel Conant is also buried.

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Of note, the image above may NOT be David Annis.  Former Visitor Host Shawn explored David Annis and historical discrepancies with photographs in an earlier blog post.  This image has been credited as being either David Annis or David’s brother Levi.  Give Shawn’s post a read for more background into these pictures.

Annis Street does not appear to be on the 1877 Atlas or 1895 County of Ontario, however, it listed in the 1921 City Directory as well as on our 1925 City Map.

Where the Streets Get Their Names – Columbus Road

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

Located north of the recently opened 407 East Extension is the Village of Columbus and Columbus Road.  As one might imagine, this east-west artery in north Oshawa takes its name from the Village of Columbus, however, this hasn’t always been its name. The 1877 Atlas of Ontario County refers to this street as Church Street (a name still in use through the 1980s) and the Concession between 6 & 7, and for many years, it was simply known locally as Concession 7.

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1895 County of Ontario Atlas map of Columbus; note the main east-west road is named ‘Church Street’

Understanding the history of this street name and its changes requires an understanding of municipal changes through the years, namely the fact that in 1974, the Township of East Whitby was annexed by the City of Oshawa. In the 1980s, the City was undertaking a review of street names, prompted by the expansion of emergency and 911 services.  During this process, a number of streets were found repeated in the former East Whitby Township and City of Oshawa.  It’s a wee bit problematic when emergency services are needed, and it is unclear if they are needed at Alma Street by the hospital or Alma Street in Raglan.  At this time, the City of Oshawa decided to name previously unnamed concession roads, and it was recommended that these names are consistent with surrounding municipalities (if applicable).  The Town of Whitby was already calling this road Columbus Road, and in the late 1980s, the City of Oshawa officially adopted this name as well.

Here is a history of the village through which Columbus Road traverses.

 

In the early 1830s, European settlement began in this area.  Because a large number of these settlers originated from England, the first name for the hamlet was English Corners.  In 1850, when applying for a post office, the community’s name changed to Columbus. Despite knowing the when, we do not know why the name Columbus was chosen.

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‘Main Street North, Columbus, ON,’ from the Oshawa Museum postcard collection

Columbus was a thriving and busy rural centre throughout the 1850s, boasting four stores, three blacksmiths shops, two carpenter shops, four shoe shops, two tailor shops, two dressmaking shops, a harness shop, and two cooperages.  Industry was also in the area with a tannery located a quarter mile north of village, a flour mill, two asheries, and the Empire woolen mill, which employed 45 people.  Finally those passing through could find respite at one of the village’s four inns.

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Empire Woolen Mills near Columbus, c. 1883 (AX995.169.1)

With the creation of the County of Ontario in the 1850s, Columbus was named the seat of East Whitby Township.  The first council of the Township was established in 1853, and the town hall was constructed in 1859.  Between 1850 and 1870 the population of the Village of Columbus grew from 300 inhabitants to 500.

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Columbus Presbyterian (United) Church, which still stands today

Like many other rural hamlets, Columbus was home to four churches, Presbyterian, Bible Christian, Methodist and Anglican, and they were overflowing their doors on Sundays. The Columbus Presbyterian Church became the Columbus United Church in the mid 1920s, and the building which was constructed in 1873, still stands today.  Children of Columbus were at School Section no. 6, or the Columbus school.  It was first built built in 1878, and in 1930, a new school was built in its place.

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Columbus School, c. 1910 (A982.45.5)

In the early 1970s, Columbus was annexed to to the City of Oshawa, and the community has continued to adapt and thrive, although it has faced some adversity as well.  In the late 2000s, there was a push by many residents to have boundaries adjusted and become a part of the Town of Whitby, but this ultimately was rejected by both municipalities.  There was further fear to how the Highway 407 extension would impact the rural nature of the community, however, over a year after its opening, Columbus is still a vibrant and valued community in our City.

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Columbus Town Hall, built in 1859, restored in 1967 as a Centennial project.  Photo taken at Doors Open Oshawa 2014


References:

Oshawa Museum Archival Collection: Columbus File (0029 / 0001 / 0004).

Oshawa Museum Archival Collection: Streets File (0024 / 0001 / 0023).

Oshawa Historical Society, Historical Oshawa Information Sheet, ‘Columbus’.

“‘English Corners’ At First Columbus Dates to 1850,” Oshawa Times, June 24, 1967.

The Month That Was – February 1952

Oshawa Daily Times – February 1 1952

RAIL REVENUE FIRST TIME OVER BILLION
Ottawa (CP) – Canada’s railroading business has hit the $1 billion a year class for the first time in the country’s transportation history.

Unofficial figures compiled today indicate that the combination of near-record traffic volume and increased freight rates pushed the carriers’ 1951 gross into the 10 figure mark for an all-time high in their straight railway earnings.

However, rising expenses kept their net income well below the war and post-war highs.

A gross intake of close to $1, 100, 000, 000 is the estimate for the companies’ earnings on railway operations within Canada. That does not include steamships, hotels and other enterprises or Canadian owned rail subsidiaries in the United States.

Though the companies’ books are not yet closed on 1951, the indications now are that the Canadian National Railways grossed about $550 million on its rail division, with the Canadian Pacific Railway taking in about $433 million. Income of the smaller companies would bring the aggregate up to some $1,080,000,000.

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Rite Demands Athletic Prowess: Braving the icy waters of New York’s East river, three divers plunge in (top) to retrieve a cross thrown by a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist. It is an annual rite, preformed to celebrate the Feast of Epiphany. At bottom, during a similar ritual in the Hudson River. Gus Kottenkos comes up with the cross. It was his 11th recovery out of 13 tries.

Dog’s Taste Complicates Housing
London (CP) – Gretchen, a sleek daschund who didn’t like Canada, may have to move over and make room in her dog-house, figuratively speaking, for a couple of human beings.

For the last four years, ever since she took a dislike to the chilly Canadian climate, Gretchen has been a problem to her mistress, Mrs. Mary Stott, and to property owners.

Now it looks as though Mrs. Stott and her 16-year-old daughter, Hyllerie, may have to move again- all because Gretchen is back in the dog-house. The municipal authorities who won Mrs. Stott’s apartment in nearby Ilford have sent her six warnings that she must get rid of the dog-or move out.

“Dogs aren’t even allowed to visit the apartment,” Mrs. Stott said.

“I wish we’d given Canada another chance,” she added with a sight. “I’m sure we could have found friends who would have given us a home and allowed us to keep Gretchen.”

The Stotts emigrated in 1947 and lived in two Toronto hotels. Gretchen made many friends, the family says, but couldn’t stand the climate.

Back in Britain. Gretchen was boarded out with Mrs. Ethel Lee. But Mrs. Lee left to visit her daughter in Montreal, and Gretchen was back in the bosom of the family.

That brought the six strict warnings from the housing authorities. Now Mrs. Stott doesn’t know what to do. Her only consolation is that Mrs. Lee will soon be back, bringing with her a new dog coat form Montreal.

Meanwhile, if the eviction notice is finally served, Gretchen may have to give up part of that dog-house.

 

The Daily Times-Gazette –February 8, 1952

Driver Rides Air-Borne Truck 30ft.
A CPR Express truck went through some rare shenanigans in the wee small hours of the morning in Bowmanville without doing very much damage either to its driver or itself.

At 1:30 a.m. the truck-driver, John Carney, of 29 River Crescent, Toronto, was eastbound on No. 2 Highway, when he skidded on the overhead bride crossing the CPR tracks. Tearing a 25 foot gap in the south rail, he then slide over to the north side of the road, went through the railing and plunging some 30 feet on to the right-of-way below. Carney stayed in the truck all the way, and only received a severe shake-up. The truck, went over the edge but sustained relatively little damage, remained where it was until CPR could make arrangements to have it removed.

Accession Ceremonies Break Nation’s Mourning For Beloved Sovereign
London (CP) – Historic pomp and ceremony relieved royal mourning today to mark the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to Britain’s throne. Union Jacks lowered to half-staff since the death of King George VI two days ago, waved at their accustomed height throughout the realm as the royal proclamation was read to the people. After six hours they were to be lowered again, to remain at half-staff until the King’s funeral Feb. 15.

In London, a fanfare of trumpets sounded from the balcony of St. James Palace, where the new Queen had made her declaration of accession an hour earlier in a simple 15-minute ceremony.

In bright sunshine, the liveried Garter King-of-Arms, Sir George Bellew, read the statement by the accession council declaring the 25-year-old sovereign “Queen of this realm and of her other realms and territories, head of the Common-wealth, defender of the faith.”

Other heralds, in picturesque 15th-century dress then read the proclamation at Charing Cross, from the steps of the Royal Exchange and from just inside the Temple Bar. A fifth reading was given by Col. James Carkeet, governor of the Tower of London, he stood in the courtyard surrounded by a square of Yeomen of the Guard, clad in the uniforms of the first Elizabeth.

A 62-gun accession salute boomed across the Thames from the tower guns as he finished.

Meanwhile at Sandringham, where Queen Elizabeth will pay homage to her father later today, the King’s body, clad in the uniform of an admiral of the fleet, lay in state in a plain oak coffin. Later today, it will be carried 200 yards to the little 16th-century royal chapel of St. Mary Magdalence

At the chapel the King’s people-his farmers, gamekeepers, woodsmen and villagers for West Newton, Deringsgham, Sherrnborne, Flitcham, Wolferton, Castle Rising and Hillington, which nestle under the royal walls- will take their last leave of the man they called their squire.

There will be a short service in the chapel Monday. Then the coffin will be placed on a gun carriage and a guard of honor of 20 grenadiers will draw the cortege slowly down the two-mile-long rhododenrum banked drive to the railway station.

By train the coffin will travel to London to lie in state at West Minster Hall, in the Palace of Westminster.

Prime Minister Churchill in a broadcast last night pledging loyalty to the new Queen an praising as a model monarch the late George VI.

Most of his broadcast, heard over much of the world was eulogy to the dead ruler, his close friend, who he said had walked fearlessly with death. But the veteran statesman whose career began in the reign of Victoria said in closing that he felt a thrill “in evoking once more the prayer and the anthem, ‘God Save The Queen’.”

Churchill linked the coming reign with the greatness of the first Elizabethan era of four centuries ago and said the sovereignty of the new Queen Bess “will command the loyalty of her native land and of all other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire.”

Throughout yesterday a string of motorcars drew up at the east lodge by the jubilee gates of Sandringham House. One by one, the kings neighbours and friends came to pay their respects in the traditional manner by signing the visitors’ book.

A few wore mourning clothes. Others had mourning bands on their sleeves. Those who signed has been presented at court or were known personally to the royal family.

Queen Mother, Elizabeth and Princess Margaret remained in seclusion throughout the day. At dusk last night, as rain began to fall, lights burned in only one room of the house.

The Queen’s 130-mile trip to Sandringham will be the last stage of a sorrowing 4000-mile journey from the animal ranges in East Africa where Wednesday the tidings of the King’s sudden passing and her own accession to the throne came to her.

Elizabeth displayed her queenly qualities when she returned, pale but composed, in yesterday’s gathering dusk to the homeland she had left just one week earlier on a holiday and state tour with her husband. It was to have taken them around the world, through Ceylon, Australia, and New Zealand.

There was a heavy sadness to her eyes, but she showed no other outward effect of her grief nor to the burdening weight of new responsibilities.

She at once approved the arrangements for her father’s funeral which were made by her councillors. The last services and burial will take place at S. George’s Chapel at Windsor a week from today.

The King will be buried within the royal castle’s St. George’s Chapel, resting place for the bones of many another sovereign.

There are buried the late King’s father and every other British monarch from the days of George III, except for the last reigning Queen, Victoria.

As the arrangements were announced, the busy mills of Manchester sped bolts of bolts of black and purple fabric throughout the kingdom to drape in mourning the entrances of public buildings, stores, and theaters, and the quiet suburban homes.

Every store in London will close on the day of the funeral.

The BBC cancelled all comedy shows, dance music and other light entertainment, both on the radio and on television, until after the King’s funeral.

In his broadcast Churchill said Elizabeth’s gifts have “stirred the only part of our Commonwealth she has to visit (Canada)” and he raised hopes for the future under the Queen with a reminder that “some of the greatest periods in our history have unfolded under their sceptre.”

Terming the constitutional monarchy the “most deeply founded and dearly cherished” of British Institutions, Churchill said the late King’s “conduct on the throne may well be a model and a guide to constitutional sovereigns throughout the world today and also in future generations.”

The last few months if the King’s life, Churchill said, “made a profound and an enduring impression and should be a help to all.”

“During these last months the King walked with death as if death were a companion, an acquaintance whom he recognizes and did not fear. In the end death came as a friend after a happy day of sunshine and sport.

“In this period of mourning and meditation, amid our cares and toils, every home in all the realms joined together under the crown may draw comfort for tonight, and strength for the future, from his bearing and fortitude.”

 

Century Old Book Shows Burial Record
Bowmanville- In a cubbyhole in the big steel vault built into a corner of Town Clerk Alick Lyle’s office rests a book that had quite the story to tell.

Properly titled the volume is called: Registry of Burials of Bowmanville Cemetery. It dates back to the spring of 1857 and faithfully lists the individual names of the 7, 526 persons who have been interred in Bowmanville Cemetery since that time.

Bound in calfskin, the volume will be 100 years old in 1957. The pages of the book seem similar to parchment used in olden days; the paper is watermarked: T. Dewdney – 1856. When purchased from Henry Rowsell, the proprietor of a Toronto stationary store, the book cost seven-pound-ten sterling, which is approximately $21 at the current rate of exchange.

First entry in the ledger is devoted to the re-internment of Miss Marjorie Beith, sister of Robert Beith, who came from Scotland and who were among the first settlers in Darlington Township. Miss Beith, was born in Scotland but came to Canada in 1826. She understood, and was first buried elsewhere in the Township before being re-interred in Bowmanville Cemetery prior to August, 1857.

The first five entries in the burial registry lack in sufficient detail to identify the individual. First detailed entry is the sixth which makes note of the death of Donald Cameron, 64, of Bowmanville. He was buried Aug. 13, 1857; the account was charged to Malcolm Cameron, relationship unknown.

The first page of the ledger id interesting in other respects. Twenty-eight persons had a “Cause of Death” listed beside their names in a special column. Of these, 12 died of “consumption” or Tuberculosis as it is known today. Other death dealers included croup, cancer, scrofula, inflamed bluffer and cankers.

Only one person, Solomon Tyler, 83, is listed as dying of old age. He was born in Vermont and died in Bowmanville. The balance of the entries indicate no cause of death.

 

February 12, 1952- The Daily Times Gazette

Britain’s Heart Stilled In Two Minute Silence
London (Reuters) – For two minutes today the heart of Britain stopped beating as the King’s funeral service started in Windsor.

Throughout the land work came to a standstill and in factories, offices and city streets men, women, and children rose to attention to stand with bowed heads.

In London, the silence began with the boom of police torpedoes. Elsewhere air-raid sirens signalled the 2 p.m. GTM (9 a.m. EST) hush.

The silence was requested by the Queen.

All traffic jerked to a halt in London.

At the cenotaph in Whitehall, passing by the funeral procession not long before, a crowd gathered to observe the silence.

In Piccadilly and Leicester Square, Londoners stood like statues in memory of the King. Piccadilly Circus was a mass of unmoved humanity. Bus drivers jumped from their seats and stood in the roadway.

Subway trains everywhere stopped at the neatest station to observe the silence.

Buckingham Palace guards sprang to attention and sloped arms before hundreds of people. From nearby Wellington barracks came the sound of the last post. Far underground in the coal mines of South Wales, miners stood in the dim light of their tiny lamps to pay their tribute.

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The Cancer, Polio and Tuberculosis Committee of the Odd Fellow and Rebekah Lodges in Oshawa last night presented the Oshawa General Hospital with an oxygen machine and tent. Shown in the above photo are (left to right) Claude Keating, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee; Orville MaGee, vice chairman of the CPT Committee; Mary Mason, intermediate nurse; Mrs. William Leavitt, secretary of the CPT Committee; Eleanor Stark, graduate nurse; Mrs. George Kinsmen, chairmen of the investigative committee of the CPT Committee; Miss Mary Bourne, superintendent of the Oshawa General Hospital; Mrs. J. K. Wickens, treasurer of the CPT Committee; and Norman Hinds, chairman of the CPT Committee.

 

February 22 1952- The Daily Times Gazette

“THIEVES LOOT “THIEF PROOF” WHITBY SAFE
Donald Motors, Dundas Street East, Whitby, was broken into last night for the 15th time in 15 years. Thieves, working in a brilliantly lighted room facing on Highway No. 2, opened a “burglar-proof” safe and smashed concrete surrounding an inner strong box which they removed. Cash and cheques were in the box.

The yeggs made off in a new grey de luxe Chevrolet, bearing dealers plates, which they stole from Donald’s service station. Another Whitby service station, owned by W. Wilson and opposite Pickering Farms, was entered last night and a greasing machine, spark plug cleaner and some tools were stolen.

The robbery at Donalds duplicated one carried cut there a year ago. At that time the thieves used a greasing lift to raise a half-ton safe onto a truck they stole from the garage. No trace was ever found of either the truck or the safe.

After that robbery, Mr. Donald purchased the burglar-proof safe and set it in concrete. He kept cash, cheques and company records in an inner strong box which was also imbedded in concrete. The thieves last night broke into the garage through a service entrance door on the North side of the building.

They hacksawed their way through the safe’s other door and smashed the cement surrounding the strong box. All that was done in the lighted glass-fronted showroom. Whitby police noticed the open safe in the room at 3:45 a.m. this morning.

OPP figure print expert George Long is investigating.

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The Prodigal Son: E.E. Henry, 1828 – 1915

By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist

In 2018, the Oshawa Museum will be publishing a book focusing on the amazing collection of Henry family letters that were donated to the archives in 2013.  One of the more prolific letter writers was Ebenezer Henry.  Who was Ebenezer Henry?

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EE Henry (A017.20.1)

Ebenzer Elijah Henry, or E.E., was the youngest of five boys born to Thomas and Betsey Henry.  Sadly for the young family Betsey died on November 12, 1829 when Ebenezer was just one year old.

The death of Betsey left Thomas alone to care for five young boys aged 9 to 1. While a sister of Thomas’s came to help the family in their time of grief, Thomas knew that the boys would need a mother. Through series of letters, Thomas began courting a young woman from Port Hope, Lurenda Abbey.  They were married on November 2, 1830 and Lurenda moved to Port Oshawa becoming mother to five young boys.

By all accounts, Ebenezer had a fairly typical childhood of the time period.  Lurenda took to her new role as mother and raised the five boys as if they were her own. The family grew to include ten more children. They had a farm and a fruit orchard on which the boys would have been expected to work. Thomas and Betsey built a frame home where they started their family.  Sometime around 1840, Thomas and Lurenda had the stone house that stands today, constructed for the family.

Henry House

Along with his siblings, Eben’s education most likely began at the small log cabin school located in School Section #2 Cedardale. The school was located approximately 2.5 kilometres from the family home. It is unclear if Ebenezer attended high school.  We know that Ebenezer attended Starkey Seminary, located in Eddytown, New York. In a letter written to his father, Ebenezer recounts returning to the Seminary and once again seeing his teacher, Professor Edward Chadwick.  Prof. Chadwick became head of the Seminary in 1847, and Ebenezer attended the school sometime between 1847 and 1851.

It appears that during his time in New York State, Ebenezer met Harriet E. Mills. Harriet was living wither mother and step father and is listed as a student in the 1850 US federal census.  While it is not yet clear if Harriet was a student at the Seminary, as it was approximately 23 kilimotres from the family home, it is clear that this is when Ebenezer met Harriet. Sometime between 1850 and 1852, the couple wed and moved back to East Whitby Township and settled in a frame house located close to his father’s home.

In around 1857, the couple left East Whitby Township and headed east to Port Hope, the hometown of his step-mother Lurenda. Once there, Ebenezer opened a photography studio. He not only created ambrotype photographs for his patrons, he could also produce copies of daguerreotypes, engravings, painted portraits and other such art work. The studio moved several times during his time in Port Hope, but it did appear to be a successful business venture.

Ebon Henry Photo Studio

In 1866, Ebenezer and Harriet moved from Port Hope to Leavenworth, Kansas where he once again opened a very successful photography studio.  Even with the distance between them, Ebenezer maintained relationships with his family in Canada.  The letters sent by Ebenezer to his father offer us a unique opportunity to learn more personal details about the family and provide glimpses into family dynamics.  While Ebenezer would return to Canada to visit family, he made Leavenworth this home until his death February 7, 1915.

As the research for the upcoming publication continues, it has been pleasure to learn more the Henry family on a more personal level.