25 years ago — 1988
Rambling Reporter, by John Eedy: Driving north from Rannoch one comes to Science Hill, which acquired its name in pioneer days because of the nearby school situated high on the east bank of Fish Creek. Back into town by the River Road and the corner where St. Marys Ford now stands, the location was first opened for service to motorists when James Easterbrook established an Imperial Gas Station around 1930.
Pictured in this week’s Journal Argus is the St. Marys Children’s Choir as it performed its annual Christmas Concert at the United Church. Pictured is conductor Eileen Baldwin as she led the 59-member choir in the music presentation.
50 years ago — 1963
Out at the new St. Marys Golf and Curling Club, many compliments were heard at a recent Open House. Many people were involved with making the project a success over the past several years — and it is now agreed that General Contractor John Chandler, of Kintore Box Ltd., did a tremendous job at seeing that the structure was built and finished in a real workmanlike condition. (The Rambling Reporter’s Round Up)
The flotsam and jetsam and accumulation of debris of the past 100 years has been moved out of the channel of the Thames River recently by two big Caterpillar dozers of the Volly Marziali Contracting firm. This was once the site of a pioneer log dam which spanned the river opposite Victoria Street and which supplied power for waterwheels which turned the spindle in what over 100 years ago was known as the McIntosh Woolen Mill. Though the dam has since ceased to exist, the foundation of this structure has left its mark in the river channel in the form of a great bank of debris deposited by 100 years of spring floods. In the old days, when every town resident had a cow or horse, these river edge areas were kept clear of weeds and other growth by the foraging animals. But in these modern days, the area has long since become a veritable jungle. The channel clearing work should greatly improve conditions downriver in time of freshet.
75 years ago — 1938
Miss Frances Dale, of Stratford Collegiate Institute, will sail on the Normandie from New York during the Christmas holidays. Miss Dale has been granted six months leave of absence to take special courses in gymnastics, dancing and swimming at Liverpool Physical Training College. A visit will also be made to Finland to take observation work in the secondary schools and the University of Helsinki. It will be at least seven months before she returns to her home in St. Marys.
The Journal Argus man spent a pleasant half hour recently at the so-called “Cobble Hills” on the 7th Concession of Nissouri. These hills are bumps of gravel about 100 feet high left in the ice age glaciers on otherwise level ground. They have been mined for gravel for the past 90 years or more and are, therefore, growing smaller year by year.
The St. Marys Textile Factory on Park Street has been favoured during the past few months with an increasing volume of orders, and right now this firm has enough toweling to keep their looms humming for the next few weeks, the only trouble being that shipments of yarn from the spinners in England and Ireland have been delayed weeks and, as a result, some workers may have to be laid off for a time. The reputation established by St. Marys-made towels is spreading fast and Mr. Moffatt says there is no doubt but that a large business can be worked up in this line.
100 years ago — 1913
The Salvation Army have rented the Old Post Office on Water Street for their present barracks until the new barracks on the bowling green site, which they recently purchased, are constructed.
The Thames Quarry Co. are purchasing the old Bridgeman homestead, and adjoining property, on Water Street South.
The CPR freight house has been removed further south and placed where the CPR stockyards were situated.
In early November, the Downie Ploughing Match was held on the farm of Thos. Steele, Concession 10, Lot 21, Downie Township.
The Bell Telephone gangs are busy erecting a line to run through Conroy.
Mr. A. Ready has recently purchased Mrs. Wm. White’s farm and immediately commenced to do the ploughing on it. We welcome Mr. Ready to our community. (Avonbank)
It’s reported in the village that one of the leading banks of the Dominion will soon have a branch in Kirkton. (Kirkton News)
Invitations are out for the wedding of Mr. Archus Bragg to Miss Butters of Motherwell on Dec. 23. (Berryland)