The Month That Was – June 1862

All articles originally appeared in the Oshawa Vindicator

June 4, 1862
The Municipal Election
The Election held in Oshawa on Friday and Saturday last, for the purpose of filling the vacancy in the Village Council, resulted in the return of Mr. JW Fowke by a majority of 10 over Mr John Hyland.  The votes, at the close of the poll, stood: for Fowke 99; for Hyland 89.  Most of the voting was done in the afternoon of the second day.  About 2 o’clock, Mr. Hyland was upwards of 20 votes ahead, and his friends were beginning to feel confident of success, which led Mr. Fowke’s friends to stir about, and for two hours the voting went off quite brisk, resulting as already stated.

June 4, 1862, page 1

Bill to repeal the Fugitive Slave Law
A bill was introduced in the Senate, to-day, by Mr. Sumner, repealing the fugitive slave law and prohibiting slavery in the territories existing or to be acquired, and abolishing it in all the dock-yards, forts, arsenals, etc., located in the slave states, thus relieving the national government from any connection with slavery.

June 4, 1862, page 3

June 11, 1862
Eclipse of the Moon
A total eclipse of the Moon takes place to-night, (Wednesday) or rather to-morrow morning. It will commence a few minutes before twelve o’clock, p.m.*, and end at fifteen minutes past three to-morrow morning – its duration being three hours and seventeen minutes.  The moon will be wholly immersed in the shadow of the earth – totally eclipsed – for the space of sixty-two minutes
*midnight

June 11, 1862, page 3

A Heavy Lamb – Mr. Alex Knox, of Clyde Bank, East Whitby, brought to Oshawa on Tuesday of last week,  a lamb weighing 67 lbs, live weight, at the age of fourteen weeks.  A pretty good specimen for the age, and hard to beat.

Married
At the residence of the bride’s father by Rev. T. Henry, on Saturday evening, the 7th inst, Mr. Albert N. Henry and Miss Harriett T. Guy, both of Port Oshawa.

June 18, 1862
C. Warren & Co.’s Tannery
A few days since we took a walk thro’ the above-mentioned establishment, picking up by the way, a few items of information which may possibly be interesting to some of our readers.

This tannery is not what might be termed a one-horse concern, in which no other power than that of one or two workmen, and one horse is needed to carry on its operations, but gives active employment to about a dozen workmen, whose labors are lighted by a six-horse power engine and a powerful water wheel, which do all the pumping, bark grinding, etc.  At present, from fifty to seventy hides per week are “taken in and done for,” but a large addition upon the west and north sides of the old building, is in course of erection, which, when completed, will give a capacity for working up one hundred hides per week.  Such a number of hides, as a matter of course, could not be purchased in this neighborhood, and therefore Messrs. Warren & Co. Have to draw upon distant points for stock.  Most of their hides are purchased in Chicago, and the leather, into which they are manufactured, is chiefly sold in Kingston and Montreal.  The new building, now enclosed, will contain nearly as many vats as the main one, and will be ready for operation in about a week.

June 18, 1862, page 4

Early closing.
We are much pleased to observe that the Merchants of Oshawa have signed and published an agreement to close their shops precisely at half past seven o’clock every evening, from now to The first of October. This is a very proper move, and we hope it will be rigidly adhered to by all, whatever may be the temptation to violate it. The farmers come in and transact their business in the daytime, as do also, many who live in the village, and those of the latter class who cannot make it convenient to visit the stores in the daytime, can surely get there, and find parties to wait upon them, before half past seven. In some of our stores, for some time past, there has been no regular time for closing, nor for clerks to get an hour to themselves.

We have expressed a hope that the agreement to close at half past seven would be rigidly observed by those who are parties to it. We say this because it is well known that, when a similar agreement was made on a former occasion, some parties lived up to the letter, but grossly violated the spirit of it by keeping their doors unbarred, if not unlocked, and their stores were well lit up, for hours after other merchants had really and truly closed up. Such a practice is in the highest degree unjust to those who close punctually and completely, because it robs them of many casual quarters or dollars which they might get by pursuing a similar course.

June 25, 1862
Temperance Soiree
The members of the Raglan Division announce their intention to hold a Soiree in Mr. Smith’s grove, a mile and a half east of Raglan, on Wednesday next, the 2nd of July. Several able and interesting speakers are engaged for the occasion, as also vocal and instrumental musicians, and everything promises a pleasant and profitable season.

East Whitby Division is also to have a Soiree in the grove a little north of Harmony, on the following day – Thursday the 3rd of July. A number of good speakers are also engaged for this occasion, and the music is to be supplied by the Oshawa Brass Band. The committee intend to use their best exertions to render the affair in every respect worth of large attendance.  Tea to be served at Harmony at half-past two o’clock and at Raglan at one o’clock.

June 25, 1862, page 3

Where The Streets Get Their Names – Raglan Road

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

Near the northern border of the City of Oshawa is the village of Raglan. It was named in honour of Lord Raglan, a British commander in the Crimean War, coincidentally the man after whom raglan sleeves is named.  Before 1855, the community was known as Newto(w)n, and previously before that O’Boyle’s Corners.

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

While boasting a humble population (150, according to the 1869 County of Ontario Directory), it was a bustling community, services by a stage coach which ran from Oshawa through Columbus, Raglan, Prince Albert, Borelia, and Port Perry, to Beaverton. When the stage coach was at its height, Raglan had hotel, several stores, grist & saw mill, blacksmith shop, coach factory, dress maker’s shop, shoemaker’s shop, and Willard’s General Store.  The community was also served with two schools (SS No. 8 and SS No. 9) and two churches: Bible Christian and Episcopal Methodist.  Finally, the community boasted a division of the Sons of Temperance, a group against alcohol who sought to create sweeping reforms that would eliminate “local groggeries” and bar rooms.

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From the Oshawa Museum postcard collection

In the mid-20th century, there were some from the community who felt that the automobile impacted the nature of village life.  When the roads were unpaved and under maintained, and before car culture was pervasive, “a person had to rely on the local general store and had to live right where he worked,” remembered Charles Luke, a Raglan resident and former stage coach driver.  The 1961 Census showed how the community changed: for every one person working on a farm, there were eight living in East Whitby Township but working in a city.

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Raglan Church, from the Oshawa Museum postcard collection

Perhaps the largest landmark for Raglan today is White Feather Farms, a farm and country store, first established in 1988.

Raglan Road received its current name around the same time Columbus Road was named. Previously, the east-west road through the village was known as Alma Street, while outside the village it was simply Concession Road 9. Understanding the history of this street name and its changes requires an understanding of municipal changes through the years.  In 1974, the Township of East Whitby was annexed by the City of Oshawa; fast forward to the 1980s, and 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.  Alma Street proved to be a challenge, because in the City of Oshawa, there was an Alma Street by the Hospital.  Alma by the hospital was named for two women influential with its establishment; Alma in Raglan was likely in honour of the Battle of Alma in which Lord Raglan was the British Commander.

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From the Oshawa Museum postcard collection

It was during the 1980s that 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 Raglan Road, and in the late 1980s, the City of Oshawa officially adopted this name as well.

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