Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 15, 2017

Courtaulds (Canada) Limited Cornwall, 1924 – 1992.

A postcard showing Courtaulds Canada, Cornwall looking northwest, ca. 1958.  The managers’ homes are visible in the middle bottom.  They are still there.

Sod was broken for the plant in 1924 and it opened in 1925, it closed in Cornwall in 1992.

The postcards states that the company made Viscose Filament Yarn, Tyrex, Fibro, Coloray Carpets, Larson Boats and Styrotile.

An ad for Courtaulds synthetic fabrics, circa 1940.  Donated by former Courtaulds’ employee Ransom Ledoux.

A sample of the first Canadian viscose yarn produced by Courtaulds (Canada) Ltd.

The material was woven by Clark Stohn of Canada Ltd., Granby, P.Q.

It was donated to the museum by Courtaulds in 1957.

In 1993 the City of Cornwall issued a number of postcards advertising empty industrial lots around Cornwall.

The postcard said “225,000 square feet for sake or lease.  1150 Montreal Road.

Space available from 50,000 square feet.

Lot Size: 80 acres; ceilings:  21 feet; heating system:  steam;  dock level doors:  four; columns: 24 feet.

The mills were demolished, but the administration building was saved and is now occupied by the Standard-Freeholder.

Throughout the months of October and November the public are invited to view the museum extensive Courtaulds’ Cornwall photographs collection.

Much of what we have was saved by former employee Ransom Ledoux with the hope of one time opening a Courtaulds Museum.



Posted by: Media Manager | October 12, 2017

Beatlemania lives on in Cornwall

On October 12, ten former employees of Cornwall’s Compo record plant gathered at the Museum and Archives for a reunion of sorts. Pictured above are former Compo workers Roger Guevremont, Joan MacDonald, David Marshall, Linda Geroux, Eleanor Villeneuve, Linda (Serault) Villeneuve, Alexander Villeneuve, Richard MacGillivray, Daniel Lavictoire, Cliff Thompson.

Researcher and passionate Beatles fan, Piers Hemmingsen, has been collaborating with the Cornwall Community Museum and Archives as he works on his latest in a series of books on the history of the Beatles in Canada. Many of the Beatles albums were manufactured here in Cornwall at the Compo plant on Montreal Road, which operated from 1963-76. Follow this LINK to view our article on the plant and for further information on this project.

Subsequent to his previous visit to the Archives in July, thanks to publicity by the Standard-Freeholder and the Museum, Hemmingsen has been busy interviewing former Compo Cornwall employees by telephone. Yesterday he met with ten of them at the Archives to obtain a greater sense of their work experience at Compo. That information, along with numerous photos from the Archives’ Marcel Quenneville collection, will be incorporated into a chapter in his upcoming Second Volume of The Beatles in Canada: The Evolution: 1964-1970.

Hemmingsen is holding a copy of the 1968 White Album, the Beatles ninth studio album.

One of the reunion participants provided this floor plan of the former plant; the layout shifted over time.

Another reunion participant shared this photo of a worker using the cryovac to apply the clear shrink wrap to albums.

The second volume of The Beatles in Canada: The Evolution: 1964-1970 will feature an entire chapter on the Compo Cornwall plant, using photos from the Marcel Quenneville collection which is housed at your Cornwall Community Museum and Archives, thanks to a donation from Quenneville’s daughter, Barb.
Hemmingsen is hopeful of conducting one more of these Compo “reunions” for other former employees who have since learned of the book project.

Posted by: Media Manager | October 9, 2017

It happened one Thanksgiving Monday

October 12, 1987 – The final phase of a $45,000 beautification of the City’s entrance is complete. Flags for each province and territory as well as the City, U.S. and a Rotary banner are hoisted in Rotary Circle around a Canadian flag on a clear and sunny Thanksgiving Monday. The Rotary Circle had already been officially dedicated on Canada Day, 1986 with Lt. Gov. Lincoln Alexander of Ontario raising the Canadian flag in the center.

The above photo showing the central flag pole base and a section of the gardens is from 2003.

On January 5 of 2013, these Idle No More Akwesasne protestors unofficially temporarily added two more flags to the collection.


The Brookdale Avenue Traffic Circle, in 1984 before the Rotary Club added the flags.

Tr Circle_Woolco_1968 ca_2010-22.211 WM

Ca. 1968, prior to the Rotary Circle flag pole and gardens.scan0005This pre-1968 photograph by Carl Malcolm  shows 7th St. W. in the center.

The etching added to this September, 1961 photo, illustrates the proposed addition of the traffic circle. The bridge was still under construction.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 24, 2017

Pitt Street fire, August 7, 1933.

These two photocards (postcards) were donated today, making them the 45 donation of the year to the Cornwall Community Museum.

Card 4 – View showing section of Pitt St. during great fire August 7, 1933.  The Palace Theatre (now Assaly Lane, is in the centre on the right hand side.

West side of Pitt Street looking north from 2nd, the Royal Bank is on the left.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 24, 2017

Cornwall’s Social Service and Welfare Leaders, 1950.

Left to right:  Miss MacIntosh, Old Age Pension, Earny Laplante, Truant Officer, Helen Welsh, Family Welfare, Jerry Grow, Board of Health, Glenda French, Board of Health, Miss Dancause, Board of Health, Margaret Conliffe, Family Welfare, Miss Sybil Everett, Victorian Order of Nurses, one year old boy, last name Shantz, ___, Miss Cavanagh Board of Health, Gay Chamois (?), Children’s Aid, Photo taken Feb. 15, 1950.

Missing from this photograph is Miss Mary Mack, who was instrumental in starting numerous Cornwall social agencies.

To learn more about Miss Mack’s contributions to Cornwall, you can read UNFORGOTTEN – MARY MACK, CORNWALL’S FIRST LADY, written by Ginette Guy and published by the SD & G Historical Society.

Copies of the book are $15 and may be obtained at the Cornwall Community Museum open Wed. to Sun., 11 am to 4 pm or the Lost Villages Historical Society.

For information email:

Donated in 1992 by the “Standard-Freeholder.”


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 24, 2017

Long Sault Rapids on the St. Lawrence.

The Long Sault Rapids on the St. Lawrence west of Cornwall before they were stilled in 1957.

The name Long Sault has done double duty as the name of rapids on the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers.  The name was first used to describe the location of a battle in 1660, between the French and the Iroquois at the junction of the Ottawa River.  The second use of the name described a powerful current on the St. Lawrence River west of Cornwall.

Drying out the Long Sault Rapids, winter 1956 to 1957.

For years some people in Cornwall mixed the two sets of rapids up and believed that the battle between the Iroquois and the French took place on  the St. Lawrence Rapids, and even named a Dollard Park, in East Cornwall after the French hero of the battle.

Work on a rock dam, shown on the middle right, to still the Rapids started in October 1956.  The current was so strong that it took several attempts to close the gap in the river.

The spelling also varies, with some references calling them the “Longue Sault,” while others say “Long Sault.”

Writers have been very cavalier in locating the Rapids.  The experts at Fort Wellington in Prescott, state in their labels that the Long Sault Rapids were in Cornwall, this is not surprising as a review of the contemporay literature and maps of the river were not precise.  Even into the mid 20th century you can find postcards saying “The Long(ue) Sault Rapids, Cornwall.  Not long ago a plaque was placed in Cornwall suggesting that the Rapids were near here.

The numerous smaller and sometimes more dangerous Rapids in the River were not identified until later, and that the whole series of Rapids along the St. Lawrence were given the generic names Long Sault and Rapids Plat.

The stone dam stilling the Rapids.  The Rapids were stilled and drained from April 4, 1957 to December 11th of the same year.

People starting to explore the bottom of the Rapids, April 1957.

Don Finch climbing through pot-holes in the now drained Rapids, 1957.

The Rapids drained.

River Captain James Stephenson said when he saw the river bed that “If I’d known it’d been like that…I don’t think I’d have sailed over here.”

All of the above photographs were taken in 1957 by CCVS teacher N.L. Finch, and donated by his son Don in 2017.

“A view of Passage of the Army (British) under the Command of his excellency Major-General Amherst runt the Rapids  of the St. Lawrence River for the Reduction (conquering) of Canada in the Year 1760. ” (Courtesy, Library and Archives Canada, 577)

Why does the name matter?  Well an avid reader of the recent publication THE LIVING RIVER – SECRETS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE, noted that the book claims that 84 of Amherst’s men drowned in the Long Sault Rapids.  If you take the Long Sault to mean all of the Rapids, this would be the case, but fortunately, it is now possible to be more precise and it appears that four men drowned in the Long Sault and 84 perished in the 14 mile long Soulanges system of Rapids (Cedars, Cascades etc.)

If you want to take an illustrated arm-chair ride down the St. Lawrence Rapids between Lachine and Prescott you can by obtaining a copy of THE LIVING RIVER – SECRETS OF THE ST. LAWRENCE, available at the Cornwall Community Museum and the Lost Villages Museum for $30.  Information:

The Cornwall Community Museum is open throughout the fall and until Dec. 15 Wed. to Sun., 11 am to 4 pm.  Information:  613 936-0280.

NB:         There are only 10 copies of the book left, the publisher is out of business!

PS:          If you find any other inconsistencies please email us at the above address and the matter will be explored.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 22, 2017

Cornwall Boat Line sign.

A chalk sign advertising Cornwall Boat Line, St. Lawrence Park, acquired by the Museum in 2005.

Photograph circa 1957, taken by N.L. Finch, donated in 2017.

St. Lawrence Park was located in the historic Cornwall Township neighbourhood of Montreal Road. Follow this LINK to see some great images of the park.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 22, 2017

St. Lawrence Seaway – house moving, and the RH Saunders Dam.

To make way for Lake St. Lawrence it was necessary to relocate some 6,500 people and their homes, I was told that this house fell off the house mover on its way to its new location.

This photograph and the ones that follow were donated in 2017 by Don Finch of Phoenix (formerly) of Cornwall.  Don’s father Norman L. Finch, took these photographs – he also taught Motor Mechanics at CCVS for 19 years, in which time he organized a night school driving class;  he was a Captain  with the SD & G Highlanders.  Mr. Finch died suddenly in 1958.

RH Saunders Sam construction, 1957.

To complete the Seaway Project on time, construction took place 24 hours a day.  RH Saunders Dam at night.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 22, 2017

Sir James P. Whitney and John Sandfield Macdonald, two premiers from Eastern Ontario.

The cover to a menu honouring Ontario premier, J.P. Whitney, 1843- 1915; M.P.P. for Dundas County, 1887 – 1914, Premier of Ontario, 1905 – 1914.

Whitney was born in  Williamsburg Township, Dundas Co; he was knighted in 1908.The banquet menu.  Note that they are still imbibing alcohol at this banquet in pre prohibition Ontario.

A congratulation letter signed by Whitney, Feb. 10, 1913.

The two items above were acquired by the museum in 1993.

Two carte-de-visite photographs of John Sandfield Macdonald.  The one on the left was done by the Notman Studio in Montreal.

Ontario’s first premier, 1867 – 1871.  Born in St. Raphael’s 1812 – 1872.  Both photographs were acquired in 1993.



Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 21, 2017

Constitutional Act of 1791.

A copy of the CONSTITUTIONAL ACT of 1791, acquired by the Cornwall Community Museum in 2006, with donations by local historians.

This act replaced the Quebec Act of 1774 and divided the old Province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada.

It was designed to give the United Empire Loyalists their own province (Upper Canada), with English laws and institutions, while Lower Canada (Quebec) retained old French civil laws and institutions.


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