Posted by: Media Manager | May 30, 2017

517 Pitt Street – Blacksmith Shop

The shop was located on Pitt Street at the Fly Creek Bridge, having been erected ca. 1860 by Isaac Boileau/Waters on land that he purchased from John Sandfield Macdonald. In time the creek was succeeded by a trunk sewer and apparently the building was rotated 90 degrees as evidenced by the various Fire Insurance maps (pictured) and photos from different time periods.

Ca. 1921 Isaac sold the business to J. Wilbur McCanse whose father previously ran a blacksmith shop in Hemmingford, QC.

In this photo from the 1920s the gable end of the building faces the street; later the building would be rotated, apparently to allow for two doors facing the street once the creek and bridge were gone.

By 1939 Frank Stephenson operated out of that shop.

By 1947 Harvey Boucher and his son Rolland operated their blacksmith shop in the same location, ultimately transitioning the structure to a welding shop which was demolished in March of 1964. The 517 Pitt Street building was on the east edge of what is now the TV Cogeco location.

Please click on this LINK to read about Joseph Laundrie, a blacksmith who worked for some of these men and also operated a series of his own blacksmith shops.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 29, 2017

Domtar’s Stacked Deck – Artifact of the Week

The local paper mill, which began as the Toronto Paper Mfg C0 then transitioned to Howard Smith and finally to Domtar, like its competition utilized sample books / swatch books including the ones on the right edge of the photo below as an important tool in marketing its product.
However, at one point the company tried a different angle, using a direct-marketing campaign employing over-sized playing cards with cheesy phrases printed on the various grades and colours of paper then in manufacture across the Domtar Fine Papers division. An explanation of the rationale is provided in the introduction below.

The package of cards also includes a small brochure on how to play the paper game.

What follows is a sampling of the actual playing cards.

This artifact is a recent donation from a member of the Cornwall community. What’s tucked away in your closet? If you have something of interest with a strong local connection please let as know at .



Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | May 26, 2017

Minutes of Inspection Cornwall Gaol,May 1881.

Minutes if Inspection Cornwall Gaol.

I made an inspection of the gaol on the 12th of May 1881 and found only two prisoners both females, 1 under sentence for larceny, and the other for vagrancy.

The gaol is cleanly kept, and the books are all entered up to date.  The surveyor’s book showed preferred assets.  No entries in punishments book since last inspection.

The yard for male prisoners secure and the corner to  the turnkey’s facility, which must be considered objectionable both in the f_____ of insecurity and for disciplinary reasons this yard is ____ large enough for subdivision and of the turnkey must have the use of a yard as no doubt he ought, there should be one partitioned off for him.

In the wood yard the wood is piled against the wall in large ______, as is also a number of wooden boxes, a prisoner would have no difficulty in escaping from the yard if left alone for a moment, the gaoler says persons are never left alone in this yard, still _____ should

be left in an unsafe condition when it is possible to avoid it.

The gaoler will have the wood and other material in the yard so piled as to leave a clear space of not less than 12 feet between the pile and the walls.

___ Reilly



The archives at the Cornwall Community Museum date back to the 1950s, and even though I have worked here for nearly 40 years, I keep making “new” finds.  This document was lodged in an old Ontario Statute book that I happened to look through last week!



Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | May 26, 2017

Artifact of the week. Oath of James Pringle as Register, 1825.

I James Pringle do promise and swear that I will deligantly and faithfully execute the office of Register (Registrar) and that I will not knowingly permit or suffer any alteration, obliteration or destruction to be made or done by myself or others on any Wills or Testamentary Papers committed to my charge.  So help me God.

Sworn before me at Cornwall                                                   James Pringle
this 18th day of May 1825,

Joseph Anderson J.P.

Apart from being Judge Jacob F. Pringle’s father, James Pringle served the community in many ways.  He was clerk of the Peace from 1837 to 1858.

Loyalist lieutenant Joseph Anderson also served as Registrar of the Surrogate Court from 1800 to 1811.

This document was recently donated by Justice J.A. Pringle of Simcoe, Ontario.


Posted by: Media Manager | May 20, 2017

Aaron Horovitz – his legacy


To celebrate the Canada 150 Mayor’s Picnic taking place in Lamoureux Park this Victoria Day Monday, we offer this glimpse into the life of the man who championed these parades and children’s picnics from 1939 until 1957. Your Cornwall Community Museum will be open during the Monday event (11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and features an exhibit on the historic Mayor’s Picnic. As always, admission is free – donations greatly appreciated. Cornwall’s new Tourism Office located inside the Museum will also be open for you during this event.

  • Aaron and his brother Louis arrived in Montreal from Romania in 1910.
  • In 1911 they relocated to Cornwall, realizing that the market was less competitive here than in Montreal`s garment district.

Prince Clothing & Cornwall Pants

  • They leased part of the Brennan block (a former hotel on the n.w. corner of Marlborough & Water Sts)
  • In 1920, having outgrown the building, they relocated Cornwall Pants to the former Plamondon Hotel on Marlborough St. S.
  • In 1923, they adopted the Prince Clothing name and expanded their operation to a second building up the street, the former Collins Dance Hall.
  • In 1970 the brothers sold the business to the Lovell brothers.
  • After much economic difficulty, the factory closed after a fire in 1975.
  • In 1976, a former plant manager took over, renaming it to F&B Clothing and relocating to Brookdale Avenue. F&B subsequently closed.

Terms as Mayor (waived his salary)

  • 1930-34, 1936, 1944-46, 1949-56
  • Cornwall`s longest-serving mayor
  • Possibly the first Jewish mayor in Canada
  • Transitioned Cornwall through the Annexation
      • February 22, 1956 Annexation Order
      • July 1, 1958 Annexation Officially takes place

Central Park renamed Horovitz Park in his honour

  • Once the gem of Cornwall
  • Now a postage stamp


  • 435 York Street
    • This structure has served many purposes, including the home of Canada Bread, and Domtar`s resident manager`s home.

  • 219 2nd St W (above)
    • Since 1878 the property was passed from the Gillie family to the Camerons, and Smiths, then to the Horovitz family in 1926, remaining in their family until the early 1990s.
    • The house was constructed ca. 1900 as a brick structure and modified ca. 2000.
  • Charlottenburgh Park
    • The family estate had been donated as a park; the entrance gate has been re-located over the years. Today the RRCA operates the park, which includes public beach and camp ground.


1955 Mayor’s Picnic Parade.  This view shows the east side of Pitt Street just north of 2nd.


1956 parade on Pitt Street, northeast of 2nd St., leading to Central (Horovitz) Park.

1952_90-20.76_Looking AtTheCrowdsOfChildrenMayor Horovitz at the 1952 picnic, the old band shell is decked out in British and American flags.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 14, 2017

Doran’s Corners – Willis Church

Once known as Doran’s Corners, at the junction of present day Wales Road and North Lunenburg Road East, sits an old cemetery, which is a reminder to many of the small church that shared the site for well over one hundred years. The gravestones date as far back as 1810. Transcriptions are posted at this LINK.

Between 1822 and 1828, Presbyterian Minister Rev. Joseph Johnston held services in homes. Prior to that time, people walked to Woodlands (now one of the Lost Villages) to attend services. In 1831 this Lutheran church was constructed on the site donated by Jacob Stata and apparently shared by the two congregations; the North Lunenburg Presbyterian congregation’s official origin dates to the prior year. In 1965, two other congregations merged with this one.

Our collection of relevant artifacts includes this 1911 calendar.

The 1920 Annual Report for the Congregations of Lunenburg, Wales and Newington, under the Rev. W.W. Conrad, shows the following surnames among the Lunenburg contributors: Adams, Arbuthnot, Bush, Conrad, Cook, Fickes, Gray, Markell, Moke, McColl, McEwan, McGillvray, Maginnis, Poapst, Rombough, Runions, Rupert, Shaver, Stata, Warner, Wereley, Williams and Wyatt. The minister’s annual stipend amounted to $300.

In 1925, the congregation joined the United Church of Canada. In 1929 repairs were made to the church, but a portion of the old foundation was left intact in order that the church could remain on its original foundation.

Another Willis United Church artifact in our collection is this commemorative plate on the 128th anniversary of the church.

In 1987, a large monument was erected commemorating the former church that had been demolished by members of the community due to the poor state of repair of the abandoned structure.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 11, 2017

Horovitz house – 2nd St W

Immediately east of the Legion Memorial Park on 2nd Street West at Bedford Street is a beautiful family home that many still fondly think of as the former Mayor Aaron Horovitz house (he also had a home on York Street as well as an estate east of the City.) Bill and Darlene McGimpsey purchased the house in November of 2016; Bill’s insurance office is conveniently located across the street.

Since 1878, the property was passed from the Gillie family to the Camerons, and Smiths then to the Horovitz family in 1926, remaining in their family until the early 1990s. The house itself was constructed circa 1900 and started its life as a brick structure on a stone foundation. Judge Pringle’s history of the district mentions James Gillie as being one of two engineers in the fire company which was formed in 1840. Pictured here is Aaron Horovitz on the front steps in 1934.

About 20 years ago, the new owner performed major upgrades to the house, including the addition of tilting security windows, steel roof resembling clay tile, copper eaves trough and downspouts, hot water heating, central air, and a 200 amp electrical service. Recent Upgrades include a 120 gallon water heater, new central air, walls were painted, some new floors installed, an indoor sauna and outdoor hot tub were also added.

Exterior:  The front verandah was closed in and is now a foyer. The double doors provide great security, weighing well over 200 lbs each.

A patio sits atop the front entry, affording views of the street and park.

The driveway is made of wood.

Main floor: This very inviting upscale five bedroom house features high (approx. 9’) ceilings, crown moulding and ample custom cabinetry, spacious rooms, and plenty of natural lighting.

West side: The formal dining room is at front with an adjoining parlour at the rear.

Side bay parlour windows overlook the patio and Legion Memorial Park. Double and single French doors lead to the front hall. Previously these two areas were reversed.

East side: The everyday dining room is at the front, connecting to modern kitchen.

Rear addition: The sunken family room features gorgeous walnut paneling and views of the patio, park and yard.

Second floor: Over the family room, between levels, we find the master bedroom with ensuite. The walls connecting the main house to the addition are very deep.

The second level of the main house contains the other family bedrooms and a sunny lounge is at the front, providing access to the elevated balcony.

Third floor: A door on the second level accesses stairs to an open concept walk-up loft.

Lower loft area: Sofa and tv with exercise area opposite. The sauna was recently added. Windows bring in sunlight.

Large raised loft area: showcases a large hot tub surrounded by marble. On the same level are his and hers pedestal sinks and behind a privacy screen is the toilet. A rough-in exists for a bidet. Overhead is a (approx 10’ by 10’) skylight that was covered over due to leakage. Two large dormer windows bring in wonderful natural light and provide a great elevated view. Should the McGimpseys ever be so inclined, this area would make a spectacular honeymoon suite in a charming Bed and Breakfast.

Basement: Includes a modern laundry room, additional storage as well as a 120 gallon hot water tank, air exchanger, central air and large electronically controlled boiler for heating the home. Supplemental area heating is provided via heated floors and gas fireplaces. The decorative hot water radiators were cleaned and re-installed ca. 1995.

Yard: The garage was built ca. 1900 as a carriage house. A canine building with three outdoor kennels was added ca. 1995. All of the roofs and two of the buildings match each other.

A patio sits to the west of the house, overlooking the park, with partial view of the street.

A hearty ‘thank you’ is offered to the McGimpseys for allowing me, and thereby all of you, to experience their new dream home, as well as some wonderful Cornwall history. Kudos on this wonderful example of a century home that has been very tastefully maintained with the old and the new complementing each other.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 9, 2017

Artifact of the Week – 1955/56 Mayor’s Picnic

In the 1940s and 50s, Cornwall’s Mayor Aaron Horovitz was much loved for the annual children’s picnics that he chaired and funded from his own resources. The mayor was also known for not accepting his salary. He and his brother were successful businessmen and this was part of how Horovitz gave back to the community he called home.

1955 was the final year that the annual Mayor’s Annual Children’s Picnic was held at the City’s popular Central Park.

In 1956 the event was re-located to the more spacious Athletic Grounds since the City was in the process of becoming larger by about 29 square miles and a sizeable crowd was anticipated.

The above beanies, tickets and event programmes are among the various relevant artifacts given by various donors.

Your local Canada 150 Committee is resurrecting the popular 1940s/1950s Mayor’s Picnic in Lamoureux Park this Victoria Day Monday, May 22nd from 11 am – 4 pm (rain or shine).

Children and Adult Activities include: Beach volleyball, Children’s dash races, Egg and water balloon toss, Face painting, Horseshoe tournament, Inflatable castles and courses, Kite Festival, Olde Car Show & Shine, Family poker run, Potato sac races, Three-legged races, Wheelbarrow races and more!

Food: Grilled hot dogs at olde fashioned prices provided courtesy of the Kinsmen and Optimist Clubs. Other food vendors will also be on-site.

Diverse Live Local Entertainment: Following the Official opening at 1 pm at the Bandshell.

Free Cornwall Transit shuttle: Cornwall Transit will be offering a free shuttle to Lamoureux Park during the Mayor’s Picnic!

To view images of these historic events, please check out our other posts at this LINK and here at this LINK.

Posted by: Media Manager | May 2, 2017

Before Cornwall Square – lower Sydney Street

Welcome to Part II in our series. Prior to the 1970s/80s urban renewal efforts which saw the creation of Cornwall Square and later the Chevrier federal building, that part of the City looked quite different than now.

In 1978 this was the east side of Sydney Street as seen from the corner of First Street East, prior to the street’s re-alignment around Cornwall Square. Today the Cornwall Square Dollarama and a section of the parking lot is on the site.

And the west side of Sydney Street included St. Paul’s United Church, Pearson’s Furniture (formerly a dance hall) and the Cornwall Electric garages and sub-station. The east end of the Cornwall Square parking garage sits on the former church site now.

Here is the relevant section of the 1963 Fire Insurance plan.


The garage depicted in the plan was Halliwell’s as above.

Stay tuned for Part III. If you missed it, here is a LINK to Part I.

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 at

Posted by: Media Manager | April 25, 2017

Joseph Laundrie – a Cornwall Blacksmith

517 Pitt_BSmithJoseph Laundrie (1879-1966) was a well-known Cornwall and area blacksmith, plying his trade for 48 years.

He began working as a farm helper on his uncle William Waters’ North Branch farm at the age of nine, earning a monthly wage as well as room and board.

At 12 Joseph was driving horse and cart first for his father and later for Isaac Boileau/Waters, hauling soil excavated during an expansion of the Cornwall Canal.

Blacksmith Shop #1
At 15 he moved from the family home in St. Andrews to Cornwall in order to begin a three year apprenticeship in the blacksmith and wheelwright trades with his maternal uncle Hyacinthe (Isaac) Boileau/Waters. The shop was located on Pitt Street at the Fly Creek Bridge, having been erected ca. 1860 by Isaac on land that he purchased from John Sandfield Macdonald. In time the creek was succeeded by a trunk sewer and apparently the building was rotated 90 degrees as evidenced by the various Fire Insurance maps (pictured) and photos from different time periods. Later J.W. McCanse, then Frank Stephenson operated out of that shop. Still later Harvey Boucher and his son Rolland operated their blacksmith shop in the same location, ultimately transitioning the structure to a welding shop which was demolished in March of 1964. The 517 Pitt Street building was on the east edge of what is now the TV Cogeco location.

Blacksmith Shop #2
At 18 Joseph relocated to Lancaster, boarding with the Joseph Rouleau family while working at his trade in the employ of William Dewar.

Back to Shop #1
Joseph returned to Isaac’s Pitt Street shop for three years.

Blacksmith Shop #3
From there Joseph set up shop in Bonville, remaining there for about ten years. After being established for about three years, he married Rose McDonald, whom he had first met during his time in Lancaster. Joseph sold his business to Bill Heagle, then made yet another move.

Blacksmith Shop #4
Joseph moved his family to the Head Line for the next three years, taking up farming on Alex Snetsinger’s land in addition to setting up a blacksmith shop in that small community.

McCanse_Hemmingford QC FX_webBack to Shop #1
After selling the farm and implements, Joseph returned to Cornwall in 1918, taking up the blacksmith work which had been performed by Isaac’s son George prior to George’s death of influenza. Three years later Isaac sold the business to J. Wilbur McCanse; Joseph continued with McCanse for a further eight years.

Joseph at J. Wilbur McCanse’s shop

Blacksmith shop in 1923 – 22-A 4th St E

Blacksmith Shop #5
In the 1927 Directory we find him operating at 20-A Fourth Street East in a shop rented from Arthur Bousquet alongside Quality First Laundry and living at 306 7th St. W. The shop appears on the 1916 and 1923 Fire Insurance Maps, but is gone by the time the 1947 map was printed.

Vacant lot now

Today (2017) the property is an access way to a small parking lot behind the Medical Clinic across from City Hall. A decrepit portion of the former Quality First Laundry building still (barely) stands to its west. In its day the shop was quite handy to the Central House Hotel on Pitt Street.

Blacksmith Shop #6
For the next 1.5 years Joseph returned to farming on the Head Line.

Blacksmith Shop #7
In the meantime, Isaac tired of retirement and opened shop behind the Ottawa Hotel on lower Pitt Street, which he now sold to Joseph who operated the shop for about four years, closing it in the autumn of 1939.

Blacksmith shop in 1923 – 123-A Pitt St

Ottawa Hotel_Post Ofc eraBy 1937 we find him living on Pitt Street in the Glebe (site of the Health Unit today) and operating his business at 123 ½ (later identified as 123-A) Pitt Street. Today it is simply a section of the parking lot behind Koala. That building was formerly identified as possessing an address of 34 St. John’s Lane. It was directly behind what had been the Ottawa Hotel (pictured) at 83 (later re-numbered 123) Pitt Street and also a stone’s throw from the Carleton House Hotel on 1st St. E.

Back to Shop #1
Joseph then returned to the 517 Pitt Street shop to work for Frank Stephenson who took over from McCanse. There he would remain until June of 1940 when he took up work in a factory.

From there
At that point Joseph took employment with Fibre Conduits Limited as a tradesman.

Later Joseph moved the family to 829 York Street (extended family pictured in front of the duplex) and finally to 227 8th St. W. Joseph and his wife Rose Anne (McDonald) raised three children: the late Clifford, the late Doris and Gloria.

Joseph was the eldest of 10 children of John Laundrie and Julia (Boileau) pictured here. After his mother’s death, Joseph’s father re-married and had another five children with Rose Tyo. The Laundries/Landrys are descendants of the original mid-1600s settlers of Ste. Famille (Ille d’Orleans.)

In April 2017, the SD&G Historical Society became the proud recipient of a donation of several of Joseph Laundrie’s blacksmith tools, including his anvil, punches, hammers and wrenches.

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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