Muriel Sheldon, Looking Back
25 years ago — 1988
Five streetlights in the hamlet of Avonton were installed during this past summer at a cost of $2,100, after the Township of Downie was petitioned by three quarters of the residents to do so.
A petition was circulated and signed at the Huron-Perth Presbyterial of the United Church Women, requesting Premier David Peterson to accept the provincial responsibility for decisions regarding Sunday store openings, and not to extend these beyond the present limits.
Town Council is being asked to throw its support behind a $2.3 million cooperative housing proposal that could see 30 rental townhouses being built in the town’s West Ward. The housing development is proposed for four acres of land in the Ann Street area near the “chicken barns.” The proposal would have to be approved by the federal government and, if approved, a June construction date is planned.
50 years ago — 1963
We See: THAT construction is scheduled to start immediately on the construction of the Bell Telephone dial exchange building on Church Street North. Pounder Bros., Stratford, are the contractors.
January, 1963 will be written down, in some diaries, as having 31 days of cold weather and not even one thaw. Also: the latest convenience that has been installed in the Uniondale school is the telephone. (Uniondale News)
Editorial: We have often wondered if a new apartment building constructed in a quiet residential section of our town might not be a worthwhile enterprise. A great many people prefer apartments but do not like them located in the downtown area, as seems to be the case generally in St. Marys.
75 years ago — 1938
A critical period has been reached in the financing of the St. Marys Textile Factory, which was established a few months ago in the former So Cosy Shoe Factory near Cadzow Park by Messrs. Poore and Moffatt of Galt. These two experienced men came to St. Marys with a few thousand dollars in an attempt to build up an industry here that will employ at least 20 workers. It would appear that, unless more local people get behind the enterprise with a few hundred dollars of collateral, the money already sunk in the factory will be lost and the factory, which has stood idle for the past 15 years, will again become a white elephant to the local taxpayers.
Featured in this week’s Journal Argus are two pictures which are the latest addition to the St. Marys skyline: one is the new addition to the Collegiate Institute, under construction. The three-storey annex is to house the new vocational department and will cost, with equipment, about $20,000, the Province of Ontario to pay half the cost.
The second picture shows the last remains of an historic structure, Knight’s Mill (Near and Matheson’s) which was recently sold by the Town Council to a wrecking company for a few dollars. The old mill was built in the early days by a Mr. Simpson. Schoenholt was another former owner. Stephen Knight owned the mill for a number of years and the mill dam is known as Knight’s Dam.
A recent rain, the first in the three months, came as a great relief to parched cisterns of this neighbourhood. Many citizens have been using town water for ablution purposes for weeks as our cisterns were empty. (Around the Town News)
Avonbank: Alex Hotson arrived home on Sunday after undergoing surgery in London’s Victoria Hospital.
100 years ago — 1913
A meeting of the ratepayers of our school section met recently in the school room for the purpose of considering the project of erecting a new school. The meeting was largely attended and the proposition thoroughly discussed under the able chairmanship of Mr. Robert McIntosh. The resolution that a new schoolhouse be erected not later than 1916 was approved. (Motherwell)
From Town Council: A request was received from the CPR for permission to extend their siding from O’Brien’s coal shed, across Water Street, to C. Richardson and Co.’s. the local agent submitted plans of the proposed extension.
Councillor White reported that the thames Quarry Co. has agreed to fence the quarry.
Owing to his greatly increased business, Mr. Dan Baird has commenced the erection of an addition to the mill, which will about double the capacity. A number of new machines will also be added to his lumber business.