Throwback Thursdays – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:00:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Clothier Hotel, 9 Water Street, Oxford Mills http://www.ngtimes.ca/clothier-hotel-9-water-street-oxford-mills/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/clothier-hotel-9-water-street-oxford-mills/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:24:23 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10541 Here is a building that no-one but older residents from Oxford Mills will recognise. It was constructed c 1835 of timber frame and served as a hotel until 1914.  It had a 2nd storey balcony and 1st storey veranda both of which ran the length of the front facade. It was built by Asa Clothier […]

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Here is a building that no-one but older residents from Oxford Mills will recognise. It was constructed c 1835 of timber frame and served as a hotel until 1914.  It had a 2nd storey balcony and 1st storey veranda both of which ran the length of the front facade. It was built by Asa Clothier and was owned by numerous individuals, many of whom also used the property for other businesses, such as shoemaking, over the years. The last hotel keeper was Thomas Warren, who left here and moved to Kemptville, where he ran the White House on the corner of Clothier and Prescott Streets for many years. It was sold to the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 72 in 1915.  The Lodge and Regalia rooms were on the 2nd floor and there was a large hall on the ground floor that saw many community dances, masquerades and dinners. The Hall had its own Band, which played here regularly. From its days as a hotel, there were horse sheds and stables between the Hall and the river. But the old building, with its wood frame construction, was not necessarily the most comfortable place. It took five wood stoves to keep the interior warm.

The Lodge had as many as seventy members at one time. The Lodge ‘went into darkness’ in the 1970s and the library operated from the first floor. The building was owned by Harold and Bernie Patterson for many years, from which they operated their electrical and plumbing business, before it was bought by Gerry and Debbie VanGurp. They transformed the building into Olde Porch Primitives, and it is completely unrecognisable from the old hotel. It is now preserved for another century through their work.

In the original plan for the Village of Oxford Mills, a road allowance ran to the north of this property, from Water Street to the river bank. By Street, as it was to be called, remains an unopened road allowance today, and is marked by the Canada Post post boxes standing on that side of the road.

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Throwback Thursdays – Prescott Street at Asa http://www.ngtimes.ca/throwback-thursdays-prescott-street-asa/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/throwback-thursdays-prescott-street-asa/#respond Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:30:53 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10271 Two photos for the price of one! This is the corner where the old Scotia Bank building stands today, across the road from Geronimo Coffee House and the old Red and White Store. As can be seen in the lower picture, Scotiabank was once located in the older building, before crossing the street. The large […]

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Two photos for the price of one! This is the corner where the old Scotia Bank building stands today, across the road from Geronimo Coffee House and the old Red and White Store. As can be seen in the lower picture, Scotiabank was once located in the older building, before crossing the street. The large building on the right was the McPherson Hotel, which burned down on New Year’s Eve, 1939, having been a major feature of the town since the mid-1870’s. It was a busier street in those days, with wooden sidewalks and an unpaved thoroughfare. Note, too, that all the men in the picture were wearing hats. Absolutely required back then! These photographs bring home clearly how much has changed over the decades.

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Kemptville College – Early 1920’s http://www.ngtimes.ca/kemptville-college-early-1920s/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/kemptville-college-early-1920s/#respond Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:37:55 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=10142 The photograph shows two buildings that formed the core of Kemptville College in its early years. In the background is the renovated farmhouse of the Murphy farm, and the original Gym and Judging Pavilion is in the front. Kemptville College was established as Kemptville Agricultural School in 1917, with an investment by the Ontario Government […]

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The photograph shows two buildings that formed the core of Kemptville College in its early years. In the background is the renovated farmhouse of the Murphy farm, and the original Gym and Judging Pavilion is in the front. Kemptville College was established as Kemptville Agricultural School in 1917, with an investment by the Ontario Government of $50,000. The School’s existence in Kemptville owed much to the influence of a local resident with a position within that government.

On September 21, 1916, the Kemptville Agricultural Society were holding their Annual Fair. The guest of honour was the Honourable G. Howard Ferguson, Ontario’s Minister of Lands, Forest and Mines and local boy made good. The country was in the middle of World War 1, and the area needed some good news, which Ferguson was happy to provide. Stealing the thunder of the Minister for Agriculture, whose announcement it should have been, Ferguson revealed that the Ontario Government would be establishing “a two-year course in Agriculture and Domestic Science in the Village of Kemptville”. As an ex-Reeve of the Village, and coming from a family with deep roots in the community, it is, perhaps, only fair that Ferguson got to break the good news.

But it would take some time to get the courses operating. First of all, land had to be found, and two farms were bought in 1916 from Thomas Murphy and Alex Armstrong, one on either side of the Ottawa-Prescott Highway (now CR 44) in Concession 4 of Oxford-on-Rideau Township. Over the years, the College would purchase other parcels of land. The house on the Murphy farm had been built by an earlier owner, Thomas McCargar, in the 1840’s and was completely renovated in 1918 to house the new President of the Kemptville College, W. J. Bell, and his family. Over the years, various alterations were made to the building, and it still survives today as the home of the North Grenville Co-operative Preschool and Learning Centre.

It was not until 1919 that classes officially began at the College, then known as the Kemptville Agricultural School, when short courses were offered in Farm Power, Agriculture and Domestic Science. The old barns on the Murphy farm were torn down and a new Judging Pavilion and Gymnasium were built in their place. This building is today known as Purvis Hall, and later contained the Library for the College on the upper floor. This space was used as a Hall and Gym, where sports like indoor softball and basketball were played. Regular dances were held there over the years, as well as dancing classes.

The downstairs space has seen many events over the years, but was originally used for livestock demonstrations and classes. In 1919, there were 444 students using the building. From 1927, when the first College “Royal” was held, students showing their cattle would walk them across the highway from the farm buildings and into the Judging Pavilion. The building was used for the Royal down to very recent times. Today, the future of the campus is still unclear.

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The Ferguson House, 506 Prescott Street, Kemptville http://www.ngtimes.ca/ferguson-house-506-prescott-street-kemptville/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/ferguson-house-506-prescott-street-kemptville/#comments Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:33:05 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9881 This lovely house is a reminder of Kemptville’s past. In 1844, John Clothier sold 9 acres of land to John Rath. This property covered all the land on the west side of Prescott Street from Van Buren south to Holmes Street (which then ran off Prescott Street) and back to where Blossom Road and Orchard […]

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This lovely house is a reminder of Kemptville’s past. In 1844, John Clothier sold 9 acres of land to John Rath. This property covered all the land on the west side of Prescott Street from Van Buren south to Holmes Street (which then ran off Prescott Street) and back to where Blossom Road and Orchard Drive are today. The Rath family built a home on the land and lived there for almost sixty years, until the 9 acres were sold to Robert Jackson in 1901. Robert Jackson was born near Heckston, but went to California where he made his fortune. Coming back to Kemptville, he built himself a fine new mansion with the money made in California, complete with tower and extensive orchards and gardens, and he carried on the farm established by the Raths. He didn’t stay long, however. In 1907 he sold the property to G. Howard Ferguson, M.P.P., a native of Kemptville who had served as Reeve of the Village in 1900-1902. In 1923, he became Premier of Ontario, a position he held until 1930. He then went as Canadian High Commissioner to London until 1935. During that entire period, this was his home. He sold the property in 1939, and, after 1958, the land was sub-divided and developed. The Blossom Road development as it was originally, was built then. But the house remains, a reminder of Kemptville’s Premier. The picture shows Ferguson and his wife in the gardens in the 1930’s.

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Anderson & Langstaff Store, Prescott Street, Kemptville http://www.ngtimes.ca/anderson-langstaff-store-prescott-street-kemptville/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/anderson-langstaff-store-prescott-street-kemptville/#respond Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:23:28 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9746 This has been the site of a store since at least 1850, when Thomas Baldwin had a cabinet shop here. lt  then became the general store of Andrew Blackburn, and it was another of the victims of the 1872 fire which destroyed almost all of Prescott Street. Blackburn rebuilt in brick after the fire. Designed […]

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This has been the site of a store since at least 1850, when Thomas Baldwin had a cabinet shop here. lt  then became the general store of Andrew Blackburn, and it was another of the victims of the 1872 fire which destroyed almost all of Prescott Street. Blackburn rebuilt in brick after the fire. Designed by King Arnoldi, who had worked on the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, that building, pictured here, became one of the first and largest department stores in the town of Kemptville. Extended on the north side, and with extensive warehouses, stables and sheds at the rear and the south, the business was bought out by an employee, William H. Anderson, who further expanded it. In later years, it became the Red & White store and has had various tenants since the store closed. The drawing shows the building just after it opened in 1878, and then an early photograph from when it was Anderson’s store.

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Throwback Thursdays: Prescott Street, c. 1912 http://www.ngtimes.ca/throwback-thursdays-prescott-street-c-1912/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/throwback-thursdays-prescott-street-c-1912/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 23:59:15 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9584 This photograph was taken from the roof of the Maley Building, which stood on the site of the present Rotary Park in Kemptville. The changes, as well as the things that stay the same, are fascinating. On the left, the tall dark structure is the hose tower at the old Fire Hall, now the Court […]

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This photograph was taken from the roof of the Maley Building, which stood on the site of the present Rotary Park in Kemptville. The changes, as well as the things that stay the same, are fascinating. On the left, the tall dark structure is the hose tower at the old Fire Hall, now the Court House on Water Street. At that time, the hoses were made from fabric, and after thwy were used, they needed to be hung up to dry. Hence the tall tower, from which the hoses were hung, inside, and which also doubled as a watch tower. The Court House can be seen behind the tower. The building to the right of them is now the parking lot for the Library, which stands where the large white buildings are in the centre foreground. The pavements on either side of Prescott Street had been installed about ten years earlier, as part of the improvements that were being made to the downtown streets. At the time, these were very controversial, as some of the older members of Council considered them a luxury the town could not afford. But the energetic young men, led by G. Howard Ferguson, before he entered provincial politics, had pushed through the paving project anyway. The two steeples on Gospel Hill can be seen in the background, as well as, nearer to the right of the photograph, the tall structure of the old Kemptville High School. Kemptville has lost much, and gained some, in terms of buildings and tradition. This is a glimpse of the village more than a century ago.

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Riverside Park, 1908 http://www.ngtimes.ca/riverside-park-1908/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/riverside-park-1908/#respond Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:17:18 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=9407 In 1902, the Kemptville Council bought Riverside Park from the Bottom family, who had owned it for decades. It was decided that the Village and the Agricultural Society would share the cost of building a grandstand, accommodating 500 people, and would share also in the proceeds over the years. In return for running an Agricultural […]

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In 1902, the Kemptville Council bought Riverside Park from the Bottom family, who had owned it for decades. It was decided that the Village and the Agricultural Society would share the cost of building a grandstand, accommodating 500 people, and would share also in the proceeds over the years. In return for running an Agricultural Exhibition for at least three years, the Society were granted a 30-year lease on the Park.

The purchase of Riverside Park by Kemptville caused a great deal of annoyance in Oxford-on-Rideau, where the Council demanded that the Village pay them full property taxes on the land, which was located in the Township and not the Village. Arguments were raised on both sides, and it was even considered that the Park might be annexed to Kemptville. The solution was found in 1905, when, by a public vote of taxpayers in Kemptville, a Parks Commission was established under the Public Parks Act, whose mandate was to operate the park for the community, with a strict limit on expenditures of tax money. This also helped to settle disputes between the Village and the Agricultural Society over profit sharing from the Grandstand. Kemptville also agreed to pay property taxes on the Park to the Township of Oxford-on-Rideau, and the future of the Park was put on a firm foundation. Riverside Park was the venue for so many events in the following decades. Trap racing was extremely popular and the regional schools, agricultural societies, and social organisations used it for their activities. Dominion Day celebrations were centred on the Park, and all co-operated in running Fairs and Parades and Band Concerts there.

The Park continued to be developed, with a covered ice rink and landscaping added to the facilities. In 1921, a Tennis and Bowling Club was organised in Kemptville, and new tennis courts and a bowling green was laid out in the Park. In June, 1931, Reeve R. A. Patterson pointed out to the Kemptville Council that a newly established grant was available from the Ontario Government to support Community Parks in the Province. The grants were established, and probably brought to Patterson’s attention, by one of his predecessors as Reeve: Premier G. Howard Ferguson. With the added financial input, a new running track was laid out in the Park, as well as other improvements. The old stables and sheds were replaced by new stables and a kitchen, and a judge’s stand was built near the main grandstand, which was extended. That same year a sign was set up at the corner of Prescott and Reuben (then Victoria) Streets to direct visitors to the Park, where a new entrance was built.

Riverside Park has now been at the centre of public celebrations in North Grenville for more than a century. One hundred and fifteen years ago, it was purchased for the use and benefit of the people of Kemptville. Symbolically, it was located in Oxford. Dominion Days, Canada Days, Kemptville Fairs, Tournaments, Concerts, Fireworks and Races: Riverside Park has seen them all.

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