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:  Ian10@bellnet.ca



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 cornwallhistory@outlook.com .

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 cornwallhistory@outlook.com .


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.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 27, 2017

Artifact of the Week. Painting – Lock 17, Cornwall Canal.

Oil painting by H. Brault of Lock 17 on the old Cornwall Canal, painted June 17, 1959.  Acquired the by the Museum in 2003.

Postcard, 1952.

The archives at the Cornwall Community Museum contains dozens of photographs and postcards showing the old Cornwall Canal, available for viewing and copying at a modest cost.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 25, 2017

Cornwall Township – School Section 13.


Memorandum of Agreement made this 4th day of January 1897 between the Public School Trustees of Section No. 13 in the Township of Cornwall and Mary E. Eamon of the Village of Wales, in the Township of Osnabruck, the holder of a Second Class Certificate of qualification, as a Public School Teacher in Ontario, as follows.

  1.  The Trustess hereby employ here for their said school, such teacher, at the yearly salary of $230 for the term of one year, beginning on the 4th day of January, 1897, and further agree that they and their successors in office will pay such salary to the said teacher, and will exercise all powers, and perform all duties under the Public School Act and Regulations of the Education Dept. which may be requisite for making such payment.
  2.   The teacher agrees to teach and conduct the said school during the said term, according to the said Law and Regulations in that behalf.
  3.   The foregoing is subject to the following conditions:-

i That the teacher shall continue to be the holder of a legal Certificate of qualification as a Public School Teacher in Ontario.

ii That the days on which the teacher has attended the meetings of Teachers’ Associations, as certified by the Inspector or

Chairman thereof shall be allowed her, as if she had actually taught in the said school.

iii  That in the case sickness, as certified by a registered Medical Practioner, she shall be entitled to receive her salary without deductions for such period as may be authorised under the statute in that behalf.

iv  The Trustees and the Teacher, may at their option respectively terminate this engagement by giving notice in writing to the other of them, at least two calendar months previously, and so as to terminate on the last day of the calendar month.

v  This agreement shall also be construed to continue in force from year to year, unless and until it is terminated by the notice, herein before prescribed.

As witness the corporate seal of the said Trustees and the hand of the Teacher, on the day and year first above mentioned.

Mary E. Eamon…Teacher

Philip T. Empey

S.S. Brownell

Finch Ontario, August 29th, 1924.

Mr. N.J. Robinson, Monkland Station, Ont.

Dear Sir:

In reply to your letter of Aug. 20th, I beg leave to state that the Trustee Board is NOT LEGALLY obliged to supply a teacher with a boarding place – and there is no limitation as to the amount per month that she must pay – that matter can be settled only between herself and the party engaging to board her.  Of course, if the Board can accommodate a teacher by telling her where she can get lodging – she should be thankful – as it is sometimes difficult for a stranger to get a suitable place in a section.

Yours Respectfully

James Froats

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 25, 2017

Good Citizenship plaque presentation Cornwall, March 9, 1981.

scan0038These Good Citizenship plaques were presented by the Cornwall Board of Commissioners of Police, on March 9, 1981, (photo taken March 27), for the rescue of Sylvain Derochers from the city waters of the St. Lawrence River on Dec. 22, 1980.

left to right:  Bryson Comrie, Board member, Messrs. Steven Rodgers, Leslie Henry, William Mondoux and Cornwall Mayor Gerald Parisien.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 25, 2017

Artifact of the week. Three Cornwall trophies.

A silverplate Tug of War trophy, made by the Wilco Silverplate Co., in the U.S.

Tri-county tug of war challenged donated by Doctor D.R. McDonald, MPP for Glengarry, 1898 – 1902 and 1908 to 1911.

Won by  (blank)       1911, 1912, 1913

Purchased at the auction for the estate of Dennis Jacobs, Maxville, in 1997.

Courtaulds’ golf trophy, presented by English Cellophane Ltd. for the annual competition between TCF Canada Ltd. and Courtaulds (Canada) Ltd.  1953 to 1981.

Donated by Ransom Ledoux in 2007.

Birk’s sterling silver bowl for the Cornwall Curling Club.

Inscribed:  From The Beach Brothers, 1887 to 1937.

Note the imitation English hallmark.

Donated by the estate of Dora Campbell (nee Beach), in 2005.

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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