Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | August 20, 2017

Crown Land Agency Cornwall, 1855.

Stampless envelope dated Cornwall, Upper Canada, Dec. 24, 1855.  Paid 5 pence.

To Angus Cattanach Esq., Dalhousie Mills, Lancaster.

Angus Cattanach was a land surveyor and merchant with interests in the lumber industry.  Born in Scotland he came to and settled in Dalhousie Mills in the 1820s.

LETTER                Crown Lands Agency Cornwall 24 Dec/55

Dear Sir:  The Government having lately taken the management of the timber out of the hands of the Crown Lands Agent as such it is not easy for me to pursue the trespassers now as it was two years ago.  I am in that respect only acting under C.E. Belle, Esq. of Montreal who is the Crown Timber Agent for a large tract about here and if you can obtain proof of any depredation that has been committed I think you had better write to him with all the particulars and no doubt he will instruct me in the matter how to act.


I remain D(ear) Sir

Yours truly,

Sam Hart



Posted by: Media Manager | August 18, 2017

Before Time … Square

In this 1961 Marcel Quenneville photograph we see the newly-opened Loblaws Groceteria which had joined the Woolworth’s Store in relocating to 114 Second Street West (Time Square now).

Loblaws had made the move from this older store at 126-128 Pitt Street, which was then flanked by Peter Solway’s Mayfair Shoppe (118-120) and Reitman’s Ladies’ Wear (130). Today those three locations are occupied by Spinner’s Diner, Jack Lee’s Restaurant and, until recently, Much Ts. Continuing north were other historic Cornwall businesses: Laniel Jeweller, Nyman’s Shoes, Tamblyn’s Drugs, People’s, Zellers, Leslie’s ladies wear, Metropolitan (earlier Woolworth) and Fullerton Drugs.

scan0057Previously Dr. J.J. Dickinson’s residence and the Health Unit, pictured here, stood where Time Square is situated now across from Trinity Church.

aerial_1970-09_LoblawsAdjacent to Loblaws’ Second Street location was the Dominion store at 120/130 Augustus Street as seen in this 1970 Quenneville aerial crop.

This Filion family photo gives a glimpse of Dominion’s interior.

1957-05-19_Inspection_0001 DFCr_LTPFilionGuardOfcr_WMAlso from the Filion family photo collection is this photo of the Sea Cadet Corps parading in the Dominion store parking lot.

This 1976 aerial photo shows the evolution of the 40 and later 120 Augustus Street Cornwall Housing apartments. The 120 Augustus apartments stand on the site of the former Dominion Store.

These are but a sampling of the thousands of photographs preserved in the SD&G Historical Society Archives at your Cornwall Community Museum.

Posted by: Media Manager | August 16, 2017

Jonas/Benjamin Wood family (Yearsley)

Today, Joan and Glen Yearsleys from Woodstock spent a few hours touring the Wood House Museum and pouring over her Wood family genealogy, via three relevant books in the Archives.

Of course, we invited them into the Confederation Parlour for a closer look and to pose for a souvenir photo.

While in the neighbourhood they enjoyed lunch downtown and were taking our suggestion to visit the Cornwall Room at the Public Library this afternoon.

Posted by: Media Manager | August 16, 2017

Louis Emard’s Service Station


This October, 1963 photo shows the Louis Emard service station at the intersection of St. Andrew’s Road/Pitt Street and Emma. Next door was the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission warehouse. The Pop Shoppe occupies that location now.

Emard-Service-Stn_1963-10_-3_webLouis Emard Petroleum Co. Ltd was headquartered on 10th Street East; they operated a handful of service stations around town, including the one at the Savemart on Vincent Massey Drive as well as the one in this photo.

The For Sale sign refers to Mindy’s Limited, an auto sales and service outlet next door. The business previously operated as Cornwall Sales and Service Ltd.

The only other business listed in the region at the Seaway Drive-in Theatre, previously operating as the Cornwall Drive-in Theatre.

Emard-Service-Stn_1963-10_webAcross Pitt Street at the edge of the overpass can be seen Craig Plumbing and Heating; an equipment rental outlet is housed there now.


Exploring the St. Lawrence River from the Quebec border to Prescott, there are only 60 copies left of this 200 page plus fully illustrated history of the River.

Topics include the Victorian age splendour, running the rapids of the St. Lawrence, the St. Lawrence Seaway and Ontario Hydro project, the Lost Villages, the McIntosh Apple, Dr. M. Locke of Williamsburg, Cariboo Cameron and much, much more.

The book is now available for $30 at the Cornwall Community Museum and the Coles Bookstore in the Cornwall Square.

The Museum’s local history bookroom just acquired a new copy of CORNWALL…from factory town to SEAWAY CITY, by Ian Bowering, published in 1999.  This well illustrated 155 page book contains a history of Pitt Street, sports religion, the Seaway, the waterfront and crossing the St. Lawrence and much more.  Cost:  $25.

The museum also has the illustrated 24 page thumbnail sketch of the booklet 100 YEARS F SERVICE, CORNWALL ELECTRIC,1887 – 1987, FOR ONLY $2.

For the collector of Glengarry County history, our bookroom has one signed copy of HORSE AND BUGGY DAYS IN MARTINTOWN 190 – 1940, by R.C.M. GRANT for only $20.  Anyone who attends local auctions knows that this book frequently sells for much more than this!

For info. email:



Posted by: Media Manager | August 5, 2017

Glengarry Highland Games – 1954


This was the Glengarry Highland Games in August 1954.

Cornwall’s Mayor, Aaron Horovitz took part in the festivities.

Local gal Barbara Joan Markham won the Miss Canada title in 1954, beating out 24 other contestants; her public appearances included the Highland Games that year. A few days prior, a Homecoming Parade was organized in Cornwall in Markham’s honour. Mayor Horovitz included Barbara in several local events, including his Annual Mayor’s Picnic. Clearly a looker, her talent was her skill at painting.

In 2008 M.P. Guy Lauzon held a commemoration ceremony for the then 75-year-old Cornwall native because: “We have a star, a legend in out midst, born and raised on Pitt Street” and “a lot of people don’t know about this. It’s a great news story for Cornwall.”

The Museum houses various artifacts pertaining to Markham, including an elegant gown, which is currently on-display.

The appeal of the Games is shared among the young and the young at heart.

Some ‘girl time’.

These are among the many historic photographs entrusted to the SD&G Historical Society Archives at your Cornwall Community Museum.

The Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph opened their original St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in 1929 in the former Greenwood House (the former orphanage) and the student residence in the McTiernan House near the original Water Street Hotel Dieu Hospital.

This 1939 structure on York Street replaced both the Greenwood and McTiernan houses, becoming the new school of nursing and residence.

Arlene Robidoux was in training there during the mid-1950s. Her niece, Carolyn, recently donated a nurse’s uniform that belonged to Arlene.

“Nurse Sophie” from the Cornwall Tourism Visitor Center inside the Museum, agreed to model the uniform for you.

Her scenario was that she was making a house call to attend to a delivery.


Nurse Arlene hailed from the area of the now Lost Village of Mille Roches.

We are seeking a donation of additional items to complete the uniform – collar, cuffs, cap and pin. Can you help us out? E-mail .

Posted by: Media Manager | July 31, 2017

Ponderosa, Red Barn, Moviola and Frank Vetere’s

Until the late 1960’s, the west side of Brookdale Avenue between the Brookdale (Woolco) Mall and the Towne Line Bowling had not been developed for retail purposes as is the case now. The photo above was taken prior to the construction of the Brookdale Mall.

1969 saw the Red Barn open at 1110 Brookdale Avenue (photo above – above the tracks) and remain until 1973.

Red Barn_Robert LefebvreRobert Lefebvre passed us this Red Barn photo to share with you.

In 1973, the Ponderosa Steak House opened next door at 1106 Brookdale Avenue. Managers seemed to change frequently. John Belcarz was there in 1973; Rex Liddle was at the helm in 1978; in 1982 Cathy Pitts took a stab at it and in 1984 Vance Vandermark had his turn. The chain closed its doors in Cornwall in 1985. In the photo above, across the street from the Red Barn is Zappia’s.
After the Red Barn closed, Dansk Factory Outlet opened for a time; here is one of their newspaper ads from 1978.

Dansk was followed by Frank Vetere’s Pizzeria from 1980 until 1985.

Moviola Cafe arrived in 1986 and closed in 1995 when it lost its liquor licence for not paying $180,000 in outstanding retails sales taxes.

Several months later the facility was destroyed by fire to be replaced by the short-lived Nickles.


Posted by: Media Manager | July 30, 2017

Paul Denis Dry Cleaner – Riverview

Paul Denis Dry Cleaner got its start in Riverview on east side of Alice Street between Walton and 1st St. E. The address was previously listed as the family home. The centre of Alice Street was the dividing line between the historic Cornwall Township neighbourhoods of Lorneville and Riverview.

And the building is still standing (2017), now used as a warehouse for a nearby furniture chain.

Their 1952 Bell Yellow Pages Directory listing indicates the original address of 340 Alice Street.

Two years later, their listing also shows a “branch store” at 609 Montreal Road.

A 1959 Directory indicates that the branch had re-located across the street at 606 Montreal Road.

This 1963 newspaper ad suggests that they were completely back at their plant location as do their 1967 and 1968 Yellow Pages listings.

By 1970 the plant is augmented by a depot at the Eastcourt Mall.

In 1975 a Pitt Street north-end depot was also in operation.

In 1989, the Alice Street plant and Easctourt mall locations had swapped roles.

In 1993, a long-time competitor took over what remained of the Paul Denis business. Daigneault Cleaners began back in 1929.

Prior to launching out on his own, in 1937 Paul Denis was a presser at Gareau Cleaner.

And in 1951 he was employed as a mill hand.

These promotional pocket squares served two purposes. By keeping one peaking out of a jacket breast pocket, the well-dressed man had a finished look to his suit during a more formal era. It also kept a calendar within arm’s reach.

The pocket squares shown above are from a large collection donated to the Museum recently. What’s in your closet waiting to be shared? Contact us at .


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 29, 2017

Lancaster Township school fees/tax

A handwritten receipt for school fees paid.

Lancaster (twp) 3rd of July 1834

Received from Mr. P. Empey the sum of one pound 19 shilling and 3 pence for school fees for 1833.

William Grant.

Phillip Empey had property on the Lot 22 on the Front Concession of Lancaster

While it is very difficult to translate this fee into today’s money, I think it would turn out to be much less than what we pay today.

This document was donated to the museum in 2016 from John Johnston of Toronto.


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