LINDSAY’S BIG CONFLAGRATION IN 1861
Names of the Town’s Live Business Men in the spring of the Year Following, When the Town Had Practically Been Rebuilt
The great fire in Lindsay took place on Saturday, July 5th, 1861, and before night two-thirds of the town - including the business section - had been swept out of existence. Even at that early day, however, the citizens had a supreme faith in the future of the place, and the disaster did not dismay them – on the contrary, they displayed great enthusiasm, aided one another in every way possible, and in less than a year after the conflagration the town presented a better appearance than before, many fine brick buildings having replaced frame structures.
In that year Waite’s Provincial Almanac, a most creditable publication, made its appearance, the author explaining in his preface that the issue had been delayed by the fire. It is to the credit of the early businessmen of Lindsay that almost every one of them, crippled as they were with losses, made it a point to insert a good-sized advertisement in the Almanac and, thanks to Mr. Elias Powell, who furnished The Post with a copy of the publication, we are enabled to reproduce a part of each, feeling that our readers will be interested in these pioneers in Lindsay’s business and commercial life. Some comments by the author, Mr. Waite, on Lindsay and the County of Victoria make a pleasing introduction:
THE TOWN OF LINDSAY
“Charity begins at home,” and although we claim for our annual a provincial field of observation, we must have a starting point, and as this is our first publication we will verify the old adage and commence with Lindsay.
Not many places in Upper or Lower Canada have had a more rapid growth than the town in which we write. Like all other towns, it had a beginning, and that beginning, but a few years ago, was a log shanty. That popular structure soon grew into a village.
On the banks of a river overshadowed with trees,
Where people may walk and may talk if they please.
But the river required locks, and the building of locks brought disease and death. The stagnant waters spread desolation around, and many sold their property at a trifling value and fled from.
Where trees like an army of skeletons stand,
Without blood, without life, without breath,
And make of old Scugog’s beautiful strand
A valley and river of death.
But amongst those who saw beyond the hour were some who still reside amongst us - Mr. Britton, Mr. W. McDonnell, and some others, who are now our most wealthy and influential citizens. Mr. Bigelow has departed from the stage of life, but he has left his sons his representatives in aiding the development of our town.
Few towns in Canada have exceeded the Town of Lindsay in material advancement. Ten years ago Lindsay was but a mere hamlet of about (unreadable) inhabitants, but now we find it ranks among the first towns in Canada, and is spoken of far and wide as a place whose future is destined to be prosperity and greatness. It is now the County Town of Victoria, one of the principal agricultural counties of Canada, and has an enterprising population of over 2,000.
Lindsay is situated about the centre of the finest wheat growing townships in the County and by road and river is easily accessible to the farmers. Improvements, however, on certain leading roads are much required to enable Lindsay to maintain its legitimate share of trade, and these improvements, when properly carried out, we hope, by our County Council, will make Lindsay one of the best market towns in Canada. In the season of navigation four steamboats ply to and from Lindsay, affording facilities for trade perhaps unparalleled by any inland town in the whole province.
The late fire in history has been but a temporary setback, already large blocks of splendid brick buildings have been erected on the principal Streets, replacing the inferior tenements destroyed, and during the ensuing summer a large addition of first class houses will place the town in advance of what it was previous to the fire; and should our new county building be completed during the present year, our river, our railroad and our local natural advantages will then all combine to rank Lindsay among the most flourishing towns of Upper Canada.
THE COUNTY OF VICTORIA
The people of Victoria ought to be proud of their county. It is scarcely exceeded by any in the province for fertility. Though its timbered land in certain sections is rough, its general appearance is very fine and its soil almost inexhaustible. As an evidence of this fact, we were shown fields where a succession of potato crops have been raised for over twenty years, with little or no manure, the last crop being nearly equal to the first, and although in some of our townships the best method of agriculture has not been followed, yet abundant crops have rewarded the farmer and in consequence many in the county have been induced to leave other occupations and become tillers of the soil. In the year 1851, returns officially established the superiority of this county, and an agreeable surprise was offered by comparative statements of the products of the County of Victoria with the County of Peterborough, Victoria having exceeded Peterborough in wheat by about 14,000 bushels, and also in other products.
The agricultural census of the present year gives our favoured county an overwhelming superiority, the wheat crop for 1860 being much over 700,000 bushels, while that of Peterborough was only about 300,000, thus giving Victoria over two bushels to one. The wheat returns for Mariposa alone were about half the quantity raised in the entire County of Peterborough. In many sections a better system of agriculture is much needed, and the establishing of township agricultural societies does a great deal to benefit the farmer. The societies already in operation in Mariposa, Ops, Fenelon and Emily have been highly useful, and our county society alone has been a mine of agricultural wealth. Then success to Victoria, and may every furrow turned by the ploughman be the means of keeping one from his own brow.
THE MEN WHO MADE LINDSAY
Names of Business Men Established in Lindsay in the Year 1861
BROUGHALL & GIMSON – The West End Store. Direct importers of Dress Goods in all the newest styles, at every price. Paisley shawls, etc. Thompson’s former corner, opposite Doheny’s hotel, Lindsay.
P. BRADY – “The Fine Arts.” Dealer in mural, mosaic, fresco and canvas paintings; house, sign, ornamental and carriage painting, etc. Corner of Russell and Albert Streets, Lindsay.
DAVID BROWNE – Stoves and Tinware. Next door to W. L. McDonald & Co’s General Store, Kent Street, Lindsay.
JOHN KLAUS – Tailor; the latest fashions and best workmanship. Opposite Veitch’s saloon, William Street.
BRADLEY MOWRY – Foundry and machine shop; machinery and castings of all descriptions. Ridout Street, Lindsay.
S. & O. BIGELOW – Dry goods, bonnets and mantles, black and green teas, boots and shoes, hardware, dyestuffs, crockery, school books, etc. “The White Block,” Lindsay.
W. J. WEBSTER – Boots and shoes. East side of William Street, Lindsay.
O’CONNOR & FAIRFIELD – Wagon, buggy, sleigh and cutter factory. Back of Barragy’s saloon, Queen Street, Lindsay.
JOHN MIGHT – saddles, single and double harness, trucks, etc., William Street, opposite Fournier’s hotel.
G. P. RUMMELIN – Ladies and gentlemen’s furs and caps. Johnson’s new building, one door south of Blakely’s store, William Street.
JOHN JOHNSON – Tailor and fancy habit-maker. William Street, three doors south of Peel Street.
J. B. KNOWLSON – General insurance agency. Western Assurance Co., Phoenix Insurance Co., Canada Life Assurance Co., Canada Permanent Building and Saving Society.
G. R. BREWER – Tailor and habit-maker. William Street, Lindsay.
G. H. KEEVE, Jr. – Hardware, oils, Kent Street west.
JAMES WATSON – General store. Adjoining T. Dohany’s block, on William Street.
C. PASSAGE – Gunsmith’s shop, in Thirkell’s wagon shop, Kent Street.
DR. PLAYTER – Residence, Wellington Street, near the Methodist chapel.
G. H. KEEVE – Shelf hardware, saddlery, iron, steel, glass, putty, paints, oils, etc. Kent Street west.
Wm. HUDSON & SONS – Builders, bricklayers, plasterers, brick makers, and lime-burners.
W. McDONNELL – Surveyor of customs and issuer of marriage licenses.
DILLIP (?) KLESS – Hair dresser and perfumer, etc. Dealer in stationery and fancy goods. East side William Street.
W. G. COX – House, sign, carriage, plain and ornamental painting and glazing. Market Street, Lindsay.
JOHN DOUGLASS – Licensed auctioneer. Market Street, Lindsay.
JOHN TIGH – Flour and pork barrels, churns, washtubs, etc. Caroline Street, Lindsay.
T. J. DENNEHY – Provincial land surveyor. Civil engineer and surveyor of highways for the Counties of Peterboro and Victoria. Kent Street, Lindsay.
FRED WHITT – Attorney-at-law, Keenan’s brick block, Kent Street.
WILLIAM DAVIS – Painting, glazing and paper hanging. Near Kent Street, Lindsay.
G. W. SMITH - Lindsay carding mill. In a portion of the building used as a foundry by Bradley Mowry.
J. H. KNIGHT – Late organist of Trinity church, Galt. Teacher of piano forte and melodeon. Residence at Mr. C. Britton’s, Kent Street.
GEORGE CALVERT – Market gardener.
THOMAS FEE – Builder and contractor; dealer in planed lumber, etc. Kent Street, Lindsay.
WILLIAM MARGACH – Furniture. Large assortment of coffins on hand and made to order.
WARD & CADWELL – Bakery and confectionery. Adjoining Pearson’s saloon, William Street.
G. H. REEVE, Sr. – Watchmaker and jeweller. Thirkell’s new brick block. Kent Street, next to G. H. Keeve’s hardware store.
H. TIMMERMAN – Builder. Kent Street, Lindsay.
HAZLITT & MAGUIRE – Penitentiary boots and shoes. Next door to Watson’s store, William Street.
W. THOMPSON, having sold his business to Matthew Blakely, William Street, now requests all persons to call there for their accounts and pay the same.
FUNK’S HOTEL – Lindsay Street, near Mr. Kempt’s new building.
STEAMER VICTORIA – Captain Church. Carrying passengers between Lindsay and Bridgenorth, calling at Fenelon Falls and Bobcaygeon.
JOHN MOORE – “Victoria Stove Store.” Cooking and parlour stoves, Country produce taken in exchange. One door west of A. Wright’s boot and shoe store, Kent Street, Lindsay.
W. L. McDONALD & CO. – General groceries, dry goods, liquors, hardware, leather, boots and shoes. Kent Street, Lindsay.
DRAKE & FOLEY – “The No. 40 Hardware Store.” Brand, bar and hoop irons, nails, chains, glass, saddlery, shelf and heavy hardware. Mrs. Patrick’s new brick building, opposite W. L. McDonald’s Cheap Cash Store, Kent Street.
DOHENY’S HOTEL – Choicest liquors. Careful hostler always on hand.
ANDREW J. BOUNSALL & CO. – Foundry. Iron castings, cultivators, threshing machines, fanning mills, etc. Smiths work in all branches. Farm produce taken in exchange. William Street, Lindsay.
VEITCH’S SALOON – E. Veitch, proprietor. First class liquors always on hand. William Street.
HARRINGTON’S HOTEL – A. J. Harrington, proprietor. Immediately adjoining the passenger station of the Port Hope and Lindsay Railway.
DRS LLOYD & KENNEDY – Instructions give in the dental art. William Street, Lindsay.
HUGH WORKMAN – Livery stables. “2-40” horses always to hire. William Street, adjoining Fournier’s hotel.
J. J. WHEELER – Dry goods, grocery, ready-made clothing, boots and shoes. The building formerly occupied as the “Victoria Herald” office, William Street, Lindsay.
M. DUNSFORD – Attorney-at-law. Foot of Kent Street, over Mr. C. Britton’s store.
JOHN EMERY ALEXANDER – Cooper. Pork and flour barrels, tuba churns, etc. Bond Street, Lindsay.
ALMON HARRIS – Lumber. Cash paid for saw logs. Near the railway depot.
WILLIAM DEANE – Provincial land surveyor, civil engineer, etc.
WINTERS & GOODWIN – Painting, glazing and paper hanging. Opposite Mr. Wheeler’s store, William Street, Lindsay
M. DEANE – County engineer and provincial land surveyor. Russell Street, Lindsay.
JEREMIAH McCARTHY – “East End Furniture Factory.” Furniture of all descriptions. Near the east end bridge.
J. H. O’BEIRNE – Wellington Street Tannery. Kid, calf and cow hide leather.
J. O’LEARY – New hotel, opposite the post office, Lindsay. Billiard table at command of players.
THOS. BENSON, M.D. – Residence at corner of William and Peel Streets. Office at Mr. Gregory’s store.
JAMES HEAP – Liverpool and London Fire and Life Insurance Co. British American Insurance Do. Edinburgh Life Assurance Co.
JAS. LENIHAN – Dealer in dry goods, clothing, groceries, liquors, hardware, schoolbooks and stationery. Kent’s building, foot of Kent Street, Lindsay.
JOHN MATTHIE – Turner and undertaker. At Mowry’s foundry, Ridout Street.
KNOWLSON & GREGORY – Dealers in drugs, patent medicines, perfumeries, toilet articles, etc.
L. A. HUDSPETH – Barrister-at-Law, solicitor in chancery, notary public, etc. Office – Mrs. Patrick’s building, Kent Street.
PEARSON’S SALOON – Liquors and cigars, oysters at all seasons. Opposite Blakely’s store, William Street.
J. KENNEDY – Dry goods, groceries, clothing, liquors, boots and shoes, etc. William Street, Lindsay.
THOMAS DEVANEY – Furniture, cabinet, chair and upholstery, Kent Street.
GEORGE MOORE – Builder, contractor, etc. William Street.
JOHN PHILLIPS – Furniture and spinning wheel maker, turner, etc. Produce taken in exchange. Colborne Street, Lindsay.
G. H. LENNON – Dry goods, groceries, hardware, wines and liquors, etc. Opposite Crown Lands office.
TRENOUTH & BROTHER – Manufacture of doors sash and blinds. In the storehouse lately occupied by George Workman as a carriage shop, a short distance west of Mowry’s foundry.
G. C. ATKINSON – Saddlery, harness, etc. Kent Street, Lindsay.
Z. MITCHELL & CO. – Bakery and grocery. Corner of Broadway and Kent Streets, Lindsay.
WILLIAM BELL – Town and village lots, farms and buildings, for sale.
GEO. S. HOBART – “Medical Hall.” Wholesale and retail dealers in drugs, patent medicines, etc. In Mrs. Patrick’s brick block, Kent Street.
CLUXTON & DUNDAS – Dry goods, groceries, crockery, boots and shoes, Spanish leather, etc. Also, purchasers of wheat, oats and wool. Keenan’s brick block, first shop Kent Street.
DR. FIDLER – Russell Street.
RICHARD LEARY – Having retired from business, he wishes all those indebted to him to square accounts at once.
WILLIAM BELCH – Victoria bakery. Groceries, crockery, boots and shoes, confectionery, etc. Corner of William and Peel Streets, south of Pyne’s hotel.
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