Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 26, 2017

Before Cornwall Square – lower Pitt St

The 1970s and 1980s was an intense period of transformation here in Cornwall. Progress and renewal often results in saying some ‘good byes’.

Cornwall Square, the city’s only remaining indoor mall, opened for business in 1979, but only after a City decision to demolish the better part of two city blocks as part of its much-needed urban renewal effort. If the creation of the mall didn’t directly necessitate the removal of a building in that area, the coming of the Lionel Chevrier building to its east would.

Collectively the two projects wiped off the map all of the businesses on the east side of Pitt Street between Water and First Street East, as well as structures on the north side of Water Street East from Pitt to Amelia Street, most of the Horovitz Park (formerly Central Park) including that section of Amelia Street, and the south side of First Street East from Pitt to Amelia Street. Part of the project was the re-alignment of Sydney Street between Water Street East and First Street East and the removal of structures on that street as well.

In this first post in this downtown series, we’ll take a look at the view along Pitt Street just prior to the renewal of that neighbourhood.

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Travelling down Pitt Street from north to south we see a parking lot on the s.e. corner of Pitt at First Street East. East of the lot, the side of the Paradise Restaurant is visible.

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After the lot were two adjacent buildings; the first was then home to Western Tire (a great place to buy used hockey equipment) and the other building housed many businesses. The above image is a panorama of three photos stitched together. The section painted bright yellow was home to Herbie’s Sub Shop and an arcade. Some of the other businesses were Sylves Boutique, D’Esthetik, City Carpets, a printer, and a hair salon.

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After another lot we see Martelle’s Used Furniture and New Hardware store, another storefront operation as well as the series of buildings which collectively formed the Lloyd George Hotel.

You may be interested in some of our related posts, such as this one dealing with some history connected with the site of the former Lloyd George Hotel and this one on some former hotels, including the Lloyd George.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

Thanks are offered to Dr. Margaret Macaulay, who allowed us to scan these photos from her cherished photo album. What history is in your closet waiting to be shared? If you have Cornwall photos to share, please contact us as .

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 24, 2017

Artifact of the Week. MAPLE pattern gravy boat and tray, ca. 1884.

This MAPLE pattern gravy boat was made by T. Furnival & Sons, Staffordshire, especially for the Canadian market starting in 1884.

Brown transferware depicting a beaver and maple leaves.

It and  numerous other rare pieces belonging to the MAPLE pattern were acquired at a recent auction held by Peter Ross and are now on display at the Cornwall Canadian Museum as another tribute to Canada’s 150th birthday.

The gravy boat tray.

Base size:  9.3 cm x 14.4 cm

Much more to come.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 24, 2017

CONFEDERATION PARLOUR – opening, Cornwall Community Museum

A rococo style Victorian gentlemen’s chair, donated by Robert Scott of Brantford.

By great good fortune Robert Scott contacted the museum this winter and asked us if we would be interested in receiving a gift of a Victorian parlour set with a local history?

He said the set, which includes a sofa, two side chairs, a gentleman’s and lady’s chair, was given to Robert George Scott on the occasion of his wedding, by his brother, the Rev. Alexander Hugh Scott, of Alexandria in 1895, for his new home in Martintown.

Here is where the good fortune came in.  The set given as a wedding gift dates to the 1860s, and answered our needs to revamp the museum’s parlour.

To celebrate the donation and the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the new CONFEDERATION ERA parlour will be officially opened to the public at 2 pm, on April, 8th.  I hope you can attend.  Information:; 613 936-0280.

A sepia photograph of St. Raphael’s native John Sandfield Macdonald, founder of the Cornwall “Freeholder,” premier of the United Canadas, first premier of the new province of Ontario and MPP for Cornwall and area.

This summer the museum will be displaying Confederation era artifacts in a special exhibit.

More to come…

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 22, 2017

Documents of the Week. L.A. Ross Saw & Planning Mill, Cornwall.

This letterhead was donated to the archives in 1999.


Lewis A. Ross purchased his sawmill on the banks of the Cornwall Canal ( 70 Water St.) in 1882 from hardware merchant P.E.Adams.  The 1901 “Freeholder Souvenir” relates “The buildings occupied…are arranged into separate departments for the manufacture of sash, doors, blinds, mouldings, builder’s supplies generally and packing boxes…Planning, grooving, tonguing and sawing are also executed…The mills throughout are illuminated with electric light.  A huge drying kiln, in which all lumber used in the sash and door industry business is seasoned, is located north of the saw-mill.

This letterhead has been in our collection since 1956.

Serviced by its own spur line off the Cornwall Electric Street Railway, the finished products, according to “The Freeholder” “are hauled over the street railway line to connect either with the Grand Trunk Railway or the Ottawa and New York.”

“Mr. Ross has established…the reputation of always having on hand a full assortment of lumber, both the raw product and the manufactured, including building timber. lathes, shingle posts etc…A large amount of custom business is done in the sawing and planning department, and each winter Mr. Ross purchases large tracts of woodland, the trees on which he has converted into logs and cordwood.  He is also a large purchaser of logs and shingle bolts, buying from all parts of two counties, Stormont and Glengarry.”

The mill as depicted in the 1901 “Freeholder Souvenir.”

On March 19, 1906 the mill was completely destroyed by fire.  Ross immediately started rebuilding and in six weeks and 3 days from the day of the fire he was back in business.

The new mill employed from 75 to 100 skilled workers.

As part of his business Ross was the building contractor for the stone Cornwall Post Office and the Rossmore Hotel.

In common with many 19th century entrepreneurs, Ross was involved in local politics and served on Town Council, Reeve and in 1897 Mayor.  He also sat on the Boards and Works Commission.

An aerial photograph looking north east of the development of New Town, Number 2, Long Sault, January 9, 1958.

Long Sault was built for the former inhabitants of Mille Roches and Moulinette.

These photographs are a sample of photographs donated to the archives at the Cornwall Community Museum in 2014 depicting the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway.



Long Sault looking north west, Nay 5, 1958.






Long Sault, May 5, 1958.

More than 80 well illustrated pages are dedicated to the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Ontario Hydro Project and the Lost Villages in THE LIVING RIVER – SECRETS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE, from MONTREAL to CORNWALL to PRESCOTT, printed by QUARRY PRESS, and authored by Ian Bowering and Lor Pelton.


This book is only available at the Cornwall Community Museum by contacting Ian at, for $30, plus postage if you cannot visit the museum.  It is not available anywhere else in CORNWALL or SD & G.  Or from QUARRY PRESS.

The photographs shown here are not duplicated in the book.



Looking west on Bethune Ave., Long Sault, Oct. 28, 1957.





Household Economics, Public School, Long Sault, May 7, 1958. Pictured are Lynda Daye at the sewing machine, Jane Gowsell ironing, Pam Johnston Rothwell (wearing the dress) and Jean Barclay and Carol Daye in the background.





Public School Hall, Long Sault, May 1, 1958.







Separate School classroom, Long Sault, May 1, 1958.

Note the British Union Jack!  You wouldn’t see that today!





Laying of the cornerstone of the United Church, Long Sault, May, 1958.






The Anglican Church, Long Sault, May 5, 1958.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 19, 2017

Ingleside, Ontario – New Town, Number 1, photographs 1957 – 1958.

The commercial block at New Town, Number 1, Ingleside, August 19, 1957.

A terrific collection of over 100 photographs depicting the new towns created as a result of the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway was donated to the archives at the Cornwall Community Museum in 2014.

The following is a small sample of the images showing the development of the future town of Ingleside.

New Town No. 1 looking east on Avenue 1 from Farran Drive, Oct. 1957.

The new settlement was made for the former inhabitants of Aultsville, Dickinson’s Landing, Farran’s Point and Wales.


Ingleside’ shopping centre, May 6, 1958.

The centre was officially opened by Ontario Premier Leslie Frost on June 27, 1959.




The story of Ingleside, Long Sault and the Lost Villages is told through words and rare historic photographs in Ian Bowering’s and Lor Pelton’s new book THE LIVING RIVER – SECRETS of the ST. LAWRENCE, published by Quarry Press.

The book is available at the Cornwall Community Museum for $30, if mailed plus postage.

For information email: or call Ian at 613 936-0280

The photographs shown in this essay are representative of the photographs in the book, but in most instances the book has other formerly unpublished images.

Ingleside’s shopping centre, October 28, 1957.





Presbyterian Church, Ingleside, January 13, 1958.






Public School, Ingleside, September 24, 1957.






Interior of the United Church, Ingleside, May 4, 1958.






Maxwell Ave., Ingleside, October 28, 1957.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 18, 2017

Housemoving for the St. Lawrence Seaway and Ontario Hydro Project.

This house was moved to make way for the St. Lawrence Seaway and Hydro Project, September 10, 1956.

This is one of a number of photographs depicting the home relocation project in the archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.


A house being prepared for moving, September 11, 1956.





Part of one a Hartshorne house-mover, capable of lifting 200 ton buildings through the use of hydraulically controlled cables, and a house being moved, June 9, 1956.




This July 17, 1957 photograph titled “On the Move” shows Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Ross (standing), Albert Hoople, and three young relatives , Donald, David and Kenneth watching preparations for moving their house from near the Long Sault Rapids to the New Town of Ingleside.

This is one of many photographs depicting the St. Lawrence Seaway and Ontario Hydro Project and the Lost Villages of the St. Lawrence in newly released book:


THE LIVING RIVER – SECRETS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE, from MONTREAL to CORNWALL to PRESCOTT, published by Quarry Press, authored by Ian Bowering and Lor Pelton.

The book is available at the CORNWALL COMMUNITY MUSEUM or from QUARRY PRESS.

Cost: $30, for information and to order either visit the museum or email Ian at

Mail orders will be plus postage which varies with destination.

Note:  Different photographs from the ones depicted here appear in the book.


The last house leaves Wales, Ontario, in 1957.




The first brick house to be moved, Iroquois, March 24, 1956.







The 550th house to be moved.  This house ended up on a new basement in Morrisburg.


Posted by: Media Manager | March 17, 2017

Remembering the Mom & Pop Stores

Not that many years ago, it seemed that one could find a family-run corner store or several of them in every neighbourhood as well as a number of butcher shops.

Augustus Street 538_Comp_WM

Lorena Smith operated a confectionery store out of her home on the s.w. corner of Augustus Street at 6th St. W. The building at 538 Augustus is a private residence today.

Lorena’s store was just up the street from Villeneuve’s Market opposite Adams Avenue, which also has reverted to a private residence.

Lavigne_1940s late_PL

A few blocks northwest, Archie and Mrs. Lavigne operated a butcher shop and grocery store, Northern Market, on the n.e. corner of 7th St. W. (239) at Bedford Street. The store adopted the IGA banner at one point. A fire destroyed the store and neighbouring houses. All that remains is the former brick garage and apartments along Bedford Street, which were expanded and converted into more living space. Apartments and townhouses went up behind and adjacent to their former property. Thanks to their son Philip for sharing this photo from the late 1940s.


And a few blocks northeast was Parisien’s, a grocer and butcher shop located next to what is now Wilson’s Funeral Home in the 800 block of Pitt Street. Former Cornwall mayor, the late Gerry Parisien, in the centre is flanked on the left by Isabel Pidgeon his then future wife, and his now late sister Iola Parisien on the right. Gerald’s parents started the business.

122 McConnell_1991_WM

Across town at 122 McConnell Avenue was Major’s store. In this 1991 photo the words “grocery”and “discount” have been obliterated; they were on the sign two years prior. This building is now used for storage. Prior to some streets being re-numbered, the address was 22 McConnell Avenue South.

These are but a few of the many historic photos accessible during regular hours in the SD&G Historical Society Archives located at your Cornwall Community Museum.


Posted by: Media Manager | March 15, 2017

Labour Day Parades – 1950s

In the peak years of organized labour at the cotton mills, Howard Smith paper mill and Courtaulds/TCF, Labour Day Parades were an annual happening on the streets of Cornwall.

Labour Day_1953 FX BW CR WM

This photo from the 1953 Parade sports three happy fellas in a Valley Auto Wreckers vintage truck.

Labour Day_1955 ca CR WM

In 1955 Howard Smith’s float theme was 2,000 years of paper making history. While popularized in 105 AD, paper making as we know it can be traced back to ca. 100 BC. Papyrus, on the other hand, dates to 3,000 BC.

Labour Day 1958_3

This photo from the 1958 Parade was the Courtaulds TCF entry, with a theme of Pioneers in Packaging.

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That same year Howard Smith was celebrating its 75th anniversary. Milestones are listed on the float for the years 1883, 1888, 1919, 1927, 1945 and 1958 .

Labour Day 1958_5

Also in 1958 Courtaulds was showcasing its tire fibre.

Labour Day 1958_6

Kingcot was a Canada Cottons brand; they were sporting an Hawaiian theme in 1958.

These and many more historic photos can be accessed in the SD&G Historical Society Archives at your Cornwall Community Museum during regular hours.



Posted by: Media Manager | March 14, 2017

Celebrating Pi/Pie Day

Happy Pi Day! There is only so much that can be said about 3.14159265359… so we’ll talk about the kind of pie that can be eaten.

Cornwall’s longest-serving mayor, Aaron Horovitz, seemed to know a thing or two about pies; pie-eating contests were one item on the agenda for his annual Mayor’s Childrens’ Picnics.


Posing with Mayor Horovitz, this young lady was the pie-eating champ at the 1952 Picnic at Central Park.


At the 1953 Picnic these boys were busy stuffing their faces … it might have been with pie.

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From the 1955 Picnic, this pie-eating boy looks as though he’s about to burst.

These are among the several thousand photos and artifacts accessible at your Cornwall Community Museum during regular Archives hours.







Older Posts »


Historic Cornwall Jail

Cornwall Justice (In the Clink)

Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Streets of Cornwall

Pitt St. and Beyond

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

A Cornwall Community Museum Publication

Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada