25 years ago — 1988
We See: THAT Arthur Meighen Public School students will stage “Tom Sawyer” in the school gymnasium Dec. 7-8.
The Perth County Planning Office has been asked to prepare a report concerning the proposed Meadowridge Properties housing development. The plan envisages a relatively large housing development for St. Marys, to be located immediately south of the Arena property. It includes access for single family-residences of both low and medium density, semi-detached dwellings, and apartment buildings.
Horticultural News: At the Annual Meeting, officers for 1988 were inducted: Past President — Dorothy Elliott; President — Anna Peterson; 1st Vice — Heidi Frehner. Two-year directors are Edith Howe, Frances Semple, Agnes Harkes, John Dunnell; one-year directors are Lillian Marziali, Susan Towle, Margaret Arthur and Margaret Smith.
50 years ago — 1963
A DAY I REMEMBER (By John G. Bell): One of the most destructive fires to occur in St. Marys in the years before the First World War was that which happened about the middle of January, 1912. It was the days when St. Marys had changes over from the dependence of the old stream fire engine to that of high-pressure water from the town watermains’ supplies, direct from two big steam-driven piston pumps at the St. George Street Pumping Station. Fire was discovered late at night in the curing room at the St. Marys Wood Specialty plant, alongside the Grand Trunk freight yards off James Street. It was a cold and frosty night, and when the firemen coupled hoses to the nearby hydrants, little or no water would come from the mains. They were frozen. Before the hydrants were freed of frost, the fire had spread to the sawmill and throughout the stone, two-storey factory building, reducing much of the structure to a shambles.
75 years ago — 1938
MECCANO SETS — For Christmas. Engineering Sets, Aeroplane Construction and Kemex Chemistry Outfits. When winter comes on, Work Mitts and Gloves will protect your hands. So see them at W.A. Clarke, Hardware, Queen Street, St. Marys.
Lyric Theatre, Now Showing: Bobby Breen in “Breaking the Ice.”
William A. Abray, Canadian National Agent in St. Marys since 1929, received word recently of his appointment as agent for the City of Galt. Mr. Abray came here from Mitchell at the end of 1929, succeeding the late James Egan.
The Presbyterian congregation of Avonton and Motherwell, who have been hearing candidates for the past three months, have extended a “call” to Rev. H.R. Williams of Millbrook, in the Peterborough Presbytery. (Avonton correspondent)
100 years ago — 1913
The regular meeting of the Public School Board was held in the boardroom of the Town Hall. Ten teachers have their reports and some of Inspector Irwin’s reports from a recent visit to the St. Marys public schools were read by the secretary. The average enrolment for each teacher is about 47 and the average attendance about 38. The standings of the classes is very satisfactory indeed; the teachers are faithful and hard-working and, considering the adverse conditions here, are doing excellent work. Inspector Irwin stated in his report, “I wish to draw again the attention of the Board to the inadequate and unsatisfactory school accommodations provided here. The school rooms are all defective in one or more of the following: heating, ventilation and lighting. Two of them, in addition, are faulty in drainage. The buildings are badly arranged for school purposes. Under present conditions, it is difficult for the Principal to keep in touch with the work in each room, and to exercise helpful supervision. Let us look well after the interests of the boys and girls, for they are worth it.”
“Tributes to the late G.H. McIntyre” were recorded in this week’s Argus, the Mitchell Record, the Seaforth Expositor, the Edmonton Journal, Mitchell Advocate, Woodstock Sentinel and Review, London Advertiser, all with the same message that “St. Marys lost a valuable citizen, and Canada a worthy son, when Gilbert McIntyre died. He filled the office of Mayor of St. Marys and as the representative from South Perth in the House of Commons from 1904 to 1911.
While cutting wood at Mr. Ray’s bush the other day, Mr. James Murray unearthed a nest of skunks. Seven of those fragrant fur-bearing animals were found in a hollow log on which the woodcutter was operating. The fortunate woodcutter captured the lot and netted $10 as a result of the find. The air about Avonton was fragrant with the odour of skunk for several days. (Avonton)