Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | November 11, 2019

Local Heroes

In 2014 the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command launched the first in an ongoing series of Military Recognition Books. The inaugural edition details the lives of more than 450 veterans and commemorates their sacrifices. In this post we draw attention to those with a connection to the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
Volume I of the Military Service Recognition Book includes summaries of the following veterans from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:

  • Gerald Belanger was born in Cornwall, served in Korea and died in 1972.
  • Dan T. Delage served in the SD&G Highlanders.
  • James A. Lalonde was born in Sussex, served in Cyprus, Germany and was reported living here in Cornwall in 2014.
  • Fernand J. Marion was born in Metcalfe, served in Italy, and as of 2014 was a member of the Cornwall Legion.
  • Gerard S. Marion was born in Cornwall and served as a radio operator.
  • Alexander (Alex) J. McLellan served in Belgium, and as of 2014 was a member of the Cornwall Legion.

Volume II of the Military Service Recognition Book includes summaries of the following veterans from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:

  • Brent L. LaFave was born in Cornwall and served in the SD&G Highlanders.
  • Robert G. MacMillan was born in Winchester and served in the Air Force in World War I.
  • Alex W. Ramsey was born in Cornwall and served in the Navy during World War II.
  • Robert T. Robertson was born in Cardinal and served in England and France during World War I.

Volume III of the Military Service Recognition Book includes summaries of the following veterans from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:

  • Arthur William Boate served and died in World War II as a member of the SD&G Highlanders.
  • Gordon B. (Bruce) Butler was born in Cornwall and served in the Air Force in Egypt.
  • James R. Hubel was born in Cornwall. He enlisted in the Army, then relocated to Toronto.
  • Ron Lefebvre was born in Alexandria and served in Cyprus and in the Congo.
  • Pierson C. McArthur was born in Martintown and fought at the Ypres, the Somme, Arras, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele.
  • Xavier F. Sabourin was born in Maxville and served in the Army Service Corps.
  • Harold M. (Mac) Upton was born in Cornwall and serves in the Navy during World War II.
  • Eric Urquhart was born in Williamstown and served in the Air Force during World War II.
  • Eric E. White was born in B.C., served in the reserves and as of 2016 was living in Williamstown.

Volume IV of the Military Service Recognition Book includes summaries of the following veterans from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:

  • Bernard Ashton was born in Cornwall and served in the AIr Force during peace time.
  • Frederick (Fred) Sidney George Buckland was born in England, served in Continental Europe during World War II, was a member of the Legion in Cornwall and died in 1990.
  • Blake Bird Keyes was born in Gananoque. He was the brother-in-law of Major Archibald MacDonald of the SD&G Highlanders. Both were killed in action during World War II.
  • Frederick A. Lauzon was born in Summerstown and served as infantry during World War I.
  • Archibald MacMaster was born in Glengarry and served in North Africa and Italy during World War II.
  • Robert Mark was born in Maxville, and served in Hanover, Germany during peace time.
  • Norman M. Morrison was born in Moose Creek, served in the Dragoons in England, Scotland, Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium and Holland.

Volume V of the Military Service Recognition Book includes summaries of the following veterans from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:

  • Aime Joseph Lafrance was born in Cornwall and served in the Army in Italy during World War II.
  • Alec MacDonald was born in Williamstown and served in the Navy during World War II.
  • Albert Victor Mason was born in Peterborough and served with the SD&G Highlanders in Central Europe during World War II.

Volume VI of the Military Service Recognition Book includes summaries of the following veterans from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry:

  • Harold Jospeh Hood was born in 1917 on Scugog Island, Ontario. He enlisted in the Army and landed around noon on June 6 1944, D-Day with the 9th Brigade of SD&G Highlanders 1st Battalion.
  • George Pollock was born in Iroquois, initially serving in the Air Force then integrating into the Navy. He served in Canada, France and Egypt during peace time.
  • Alexander George Wensley was born in Weston. He served in the SD&G Highlanders in France, Belgium and Holland during World War II, having trained in Cornwall.

Our thanks to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 297 1st Vice President Marvin Plumadore for ensuring that copies of this series of publications was donated by the Branch for use at the Cornwall Community Museum and Archives.


Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | October 26, 2019

A Visit to the Cornwall Community Museum

The United Counties Museum in the Wood House opened on June 12, 1958. Howard Smith Paper Mill had previously taken over the Walter Wood farm at 731 Second Street West and converted most of it for employee parking and a new wood room. Realizing the need for a community museum, the mill graciously offered use of the house to the newly reorganized SD&G Historical Society.
The Wood House on the move in 2000In 2000 when the United Counties Museum in the Wood House was relocated to our current location in Lamoureux Park and the collection was consolidated with the collection from Inverarden Regency Cottage Museum, we became the Cornwall Community Museum.

The people's museumA new cornerstone was laid, proudly announcing to all that this Museum is dedicated to the entire community of Cornwall.As such, the Museum contains several theme areas, systematically structured and sequenced to broadly represent large demographic groupings of the historic local citizenry. It is our desire that everyone who participates in one of our guided tours of the Museum will come away with a greater sense of connection to our roots and to the foundations of this great province.

We begin our tour with the Loyalist founding of the square mile town of Cornwall and progress to the present-day 31 square mile city.

The Founding of Cornwall – main floor
founding_20191019_131852 CR loresCornwall dates its founding to June of 1784, provisionally named after its military leader, Sir John Johnston, formerly of the Kings Royal Regiment of New York. Our 1840 Loyalist farmhouse was moved here in 2000 as per the framed photos.

founding_20191019_131927 CR loresOn this side of the room we have depictions of early laundry, industry and blacksmithing. The blacksmith tools of Joseph Laundrie, donated in December of 2017, include his anvil, forge tools, harness equipment and a photo of the man at work.

Entrance Area – main floor
entr_20191019_132105 loresCornwall is sometimes thought of the nation’s hub of its first national sport, lacrosse. The Lally lacrosse stick factory operated in Cornwall and other factories were nearby in Akwesasne. This combined with an abundance of champion players, a large field with grandstand and night lighting all contributed to the claim to fame. Hockey sticks were manufactured in nearby Martintown and sold from an outlet in Cornwall. The bell was once used to mark time in the government carpenter shop along the banks of the former Cornwall Canal.

entr_20191019_132019 loresPottery of all sorts was a mainstay for decades. On Cornwall’s canal bank stood a high-end pottery, known for most of its life as Flack and Van Arsdale. Although the company has been out of business for a long time, their product is still widely traded.
American Oren L. Ballard left his pottery in St John’s, Quebec to open a pottery on part of hydraulic lot 4, leased from William Mattice, along the canal race in the east end of Cornwall in 1864.

scan0016In 1868 (or 1869) Americans David Andrew Flack and Isaac Hatfield Van Arsdale purchased Ballard’s pottery. Located between the Head and Tail Race adjacent to the Cornwall Canal (just west of the Dundas Cotton Mill), Flack & Van Arsdale was the only pottery in Ontario operated by water power.

scan0021By 1870, the partners had invested $11,000 in the business and the pottery was one of only nine in Ontario to import Jersey clay. Ten men were employed year round to turn $3,000 worth of clay into $30,000 worth of merchandise. in 1900 the firm began to decline. The business was sold after the death of head potter Isaac Van Arsdale in 1907.

1900s Kitchen – main floor
VC staff_2019During the peak tourist season, the counter becomes base of operation for the City of Cornwall Visitor Centre.

Kit_20191019_132531 CR loresAt other times it reverts to Museum use. In 2019 that area commemorates the 60th anniversary of the official Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Year round the balance of the room depicts life ca. 1900-1957.

Kit_20191019_132325 loresThis typical 1900s wood stove was custom-ordered. The bevelled-edge mirrors, decorative trim and decorative tile make it a very rare stove. The Wood family who lived here also had a wood stove which replaced the open hearth behind this stove and the beehive oven in the entrance area.

Kit_20191019_132425 lores

This ice box is large and upscale in that it is metal-lined, making it more hygienic than an all-wood model. As depicted in the photo collage above the ice box, the ice was commercially harvested from the canal out front, warehoused across the street and delivered in smaller blocks as needed.

Kit_20191019_132417 CR loresFood was stored in pottery, metal and glass containers.

Kit_20191019_132407 CR loresMilk was home-delivered in glass bottles like these from local dairies. 

Kit_bottles20191019_132215 CR loresCornwall had a short-lived brewery. The community enjoyed having several local soft drink bottlers, such as Denton.

Kit_PCards_20191019_132225 loresHere at the Museum, we are pleased to offer for sale an affordable selection of vintage-style post cards and local history books.


The above represents the initial stages of a visitor experiencing a typical guided tour through the Cornwall Community Museum. Stay tuned – there is much more to follow.

LP_20191019_132824 loresOther main floor areas of the Museum include a dining room, Seaway and historic churches exhibit, gentlemen’s study and ladies’ parlour.

SR_20191019_094952_loresThe top floor of the house includes a 1940s bedroom, overlaid with a cotton mill textiles theme, a sewing nook and two adjoining rooms focussed on diverse aspects of community service, such as historic fraternities, service clubs, municipal government and Cornwall’s two first permanent hospitals which opened in 1897 and their respective schools of nursing.

Utilities_20191020_121844 loresBelow the house are research areas and additional Museum exhibits, featuring Cornwall’s big three historic industries, the historic Compo/Decca/MCA record plant, historic schools and school swag, the street railway and historic Cornwall merchants.

We are the community Museum and our goal is to exhibit and interpret a broad selection of artifacts representative of the community.


Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | October 12, 2019

Holy Cross Church

Responding to the growing population in the vicinity of Courtaulds, Holy Cross Parish was carved out of the parish of St. Felix de Valois on January 17, 1954, celebrating its first Eucharist almost one year later on Christmas Eve of 1954. Holy Cross was re-absorbed by St. Felix (albeit in a replacement church in a more viable location), celebrating its final Eucharist on January 7, 2017. The Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall explained the rationale for the closure: “with the changing demographics, fewer people attending church on a regular basis and a lack of French speaking priests, it had become clear that three Francophone parishes were no longer needed. After consultation over several years with both the parishioners of the affected parishes and the Council of Priests, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, made the difficult decision to close Sainte-Croix (Holy Cross).” The new boundaries of St-Felix include everything in the City east of McConnell and south of Marleau.

Catholic schools frequently take the name of the parish in which they are situated, however, in this case, the school came first. All Catholic parishes within the City of Cornwall are direct or indirect off-shoots of Cornwall’s first Catholic parish, St. Columban, which began as a mission of St. Andrew’s Parish. Like Nativity and many other Francophone parishes, Holy Cross began as a bilingual parish, initially unable to sustain itself as a unilingual Francophone parish.

The now late Bishop Eugene P. LaRocque decided to strengthen the Francophone community by declaring as many bilingual Catholic parishes as possible to be unilingual French or English. As such, the Anglophone component of Holy Cross was encouraged to move to the newly-founded parish of St. Peter. Prior to the 1978 split, the 25 year-old bilingual parish had grown from a membership of 600 to 6,000 parishioners.

The rather plain concrete church’s physical dimensions were 45’ wide by 138’ long, originally sitting on 6 lots (250’ x 150’) purchased from John Lafave on the corner of Leonia and Easton.

In 1949, two additional lots were purchased from the same owner, resulting in the church becoming bordered by Anthony, Easton and Leonia.

The adjacent Holy Cross School has long-since ceased to function as an elementary school, eventually being demolished to create a new residential subdivision, as pictured.In February of 2019, the City received a Demolition Permit request from the new owner. This is what the former church looked like at that time.

The nave in 2019

Looking towards the loft

The main sanctuary

A heating pipe had ruptured, spewing steam throughout the basement hall.

At the time, the owner had tenants in the former rectory; his plan was to preserve the rectory, but demolish the church.

In the summer of 2019, rather than being demolished, the church was re-purposed as a Sikh temple.

Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | October 1, 2019

Scores Cornwall – gone before concluding year 6

On the heels of a company job fair a month and a half earlier, on December 9 2013, a restaurant chain which launched in 1995, opened in the Brookdale Centre (960 Brookdale Avenue) in Cornwall with Rob Cardinal and Stephane April at the helm. Originally constructed as an enclosed mall, the property was re-developed in 2000 and converted into an unenclosed shopping centre.

The Montreal-based Scores chain operates in Quebec, Eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The Cornwall restaurant was the chain’s 44th and the 3rd in Ontario. At just over 66,000 square feet, the restaurant had a capacity of more than 200 patrons. Take-out and delivery were also available.

Included on the menu were chicken, ribs, brochettes, grills, steaks, sandwiches and fajitas.

An all-you-can-eat soup, salad and fruit bar was featured as a stand-alone or as a meal add-on. The above four images were pulled from a promotional video.

On the evening of September 30 of 2019, without any fanfare (other than a few staff, several fans and some vocal critics adding their two cents on social media) the local franchise quietly faded into Cornwall restaurant history. The restaurant business here is highly competitive and even more chain outlets are about to open. One can well-imagine the rationale for closing. The five year mark is considered a crucial milestone in the life of any new business; kudos to Stephane and Rob for enduring the hard work and long hours to make it to that juncture.

These photos were taken during that final night. This was the dine-in entrance.

The view from the front. The restaurant walls featured large photographs of local landmarks. The franchise may have started a trend; various local eateries and other businesses now proudly display photos and murals of current and historic Cornwall locales, some of which were obtained through the SD&G Historical Society. Businesses are welcome to contact the Museum for details.

Late morning the next day, after a meeting, the owners made it official with this notice on the front windows.

At the time of the Cornwall store opening, Scores parent company Imvescor Inc., also operated Pizza Delight, Mikes and Baton Rouge. In December 2017, MTY, which also owns Au Vieux Duluth, Mr. Sub, Thai Express and Sushi Shop amalgamated with Imvescor.



Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | September 23, 2019

Remembering Parisien Beverages

722 Pitt_Parisien Beverages_1957_webNiagara Dry, John Collins, Orange Crush, Nesbitt’s Orange, Pure Spring, Canada Dry, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi-Cola at one time or another were bottled here in Cornwall by Parisien Beverages. The above photo is from the Marcel Quenneville collection; on the right is Otto Mayer (age 29 when the photo was taken in 1957).

722 Pitt_Parisien Beverages_1951 DirParisien Beverages launched in 1935 and operated at 722 Pitt Street until 1962.

In 1962 they relocated to 215 Saunders Drive in Cornwall’s former industrial sub-division.

722 Pitt_Parisien Beverages_Soda case_Ray CaronRay Caron shared this Parisien crate from the late 1960s.

They operated at Saunders Dr. until 1982 when Pepsi purchased the bottling operation and moved it to Ottawa.

Sales and warehousing remained in Cornwall until June of 1993 when Pepsi closed the Cornwall operation entirely. Pepsi had purchased the Parisien distribution operation the year prior.

722 Pitt_Parisien Beverages_1929-2000_sky pilotThe Pepsi Sky-Writer plane with its Sky-Pilot was in operation from 1929 until 2000.

Here in 2019, the original 722 Pitt Street building is a good example of an older commercial building which has been nicely updated and now houses a variety of businesses.

And this is a recent view of 215 Saunders Drive.





Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | September 21, 2019

It’s been a gas

Driving by the familiar landmark over the past few days it was difficult not to notice this building passing into Cornwall history. At 1616 Pitt Street at the corner of Emma, a convenience store, an eatery and a rental outlet occupy the other three corners of that busy intersection, not far from Via Rail.

For most of its life, this structure housed a series of service stations. For example, in 1959 Clarence Beechener operated his service station there and by 1975 it was Aurele’s Service Station.

When this photo was taken in 1989, it flew the Petro Canada banner.

Until the summer of 2018, the building was the base of operation of Tartan Home Comfort; the owner is now employed by a former competitor.

Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | September 15, 2019

Bishop Macdonell Senior School

Back in the mid-1970s, Bishop Macdonell School located on Adolphus Street at Third Street was a senior school, housing just 7th and 8th graders, unlike today.

This photo of Mrs. Joan Martin’s class was taken ca. 1975. Who do you recognize?

So far we’ve identified several of the people pictured:

Monique Martin, Kenny Cox, Kim Lalonde, Brian Shaver, Gary McDougal, Don Smith, Colleen Dupuis, Joan Martin (teacher)
______________ , Curtis Collins, Gordie Lefebvre, Richard Martin?, Wayne Joseph, David Taillon, Sandra Mitchell
Greg Villeneuve, Joanne Lepage, Robert King, Kevin Blue, ________________, __________________, ________________, David McLeod
_______________, ______________________, Pam Wollinger, Brigitte _________________, Karen Leduc, __________________
Our thanks to David Taillon for allowing us to scan this photo from his elementary school years.
Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | September 4, 2019

The Seaway at 60

Ontario Power Generation’s Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre played host to the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Management Corporation’s 60th Anniversary Celebration late this afternoon.

Saunders was proud to showcase its growing collection of vintage Seaway art.

About two dozen guests attended the by-invitation event.

The Seaway Authority commissioned Quebec artist Yvon Lemieux to paint four Seaway scenes; the artist was on-hand for the unveiling. Pictured with Lemieux is Terrence Bowles, President and C.E.O. of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority Management Corporation, who invited Lemieux to create the artwork.

The paintings will hang in the Seaway Authority offices at the intersection of Pitt and Second Streets.

Cornwall-born Lionel Chevrier was known to many as “Mr. Seaway” for his role in making the dream a reality. Chevrier’s sons Bernard and Jean represented the family at the event. Chevrier was Minister of transport from 1945-1954, President of the Privy Council in 1957, Minister of Justice from 1963-1964 and British High Commissioner from 1964-1967.

Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for SD&SG, presented a certificate marking the milestone.

The artist as well as the Chevriers were presented with a Seaway 60th Anniversary commemorative coin.

Refreshments included this 60th anniversary cupcake cake.

In this short video clip, Terrence Bowles and Guy Lauzon extend greetings and share a few memories.

In 2018, OPG celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of the international power plant at Cornwall.

This summer Post Media Chain posted a series of articles to commemorate The Seaway at 60.

Your Cornwall Community Museum has a large collection of Seaway and Chevrier artifacts, a number of which are on exhibit now.

Closeups of the images which Lemieux was commissioned to create appear below:








Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | September 1, 2019

1978 CCVS Football Championship Jacket

Cornwallite Greg Pollard has visited the Museum twice recently. During his first visit he was inspired by some of the exhibits, including the new school and school swag exhibit, medical exhibit and the budding retail exhibit.

Saturday he returned to donate a few personal and family treasurers to augment our collections.

2019-42.1_Greg Pollard_SignedGreg was a member of the CCVS football team which won the 1978 championship; here is proof that he can still fit into that high school jacket. Yes, we’re envious. Looking good, Greg!

2019-42.1_Greg Pollard_back

This was Greg’s Grade 13 “mug shot” in the Mirror ’78 year book.

His submitted profile follows:

Ambition:  Sportsman of the year
Probable Destiny:  Cripple of the year
Cherished Memories:  My 1st punt past the scrimmage line
Nick Name:  The Pod

Poor Greg; he was absent for the team champions photo due to knee surgery.

The yearbook write-up has the following to say:

With the strongest defence in the league and a re-vitalized offence, the C.C.V.S. Golden Raiders again captured the coveted Edward’s Trophy, the symbol of football supremacy in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  It was the fourth time in five years that the Raiders had emerged as the League champion, a record unparalleled in the school’s distinguished sports history.

Despite major injuries to some key players, the Gold Machine was able to win each of its eight games, a feat which no other championship football team at this school has ever been able to accomplish.  It was the perfect end to a season of hard work for all those involved, especially the graduating members of the team.  With a fine group of players returning next year, the Raiders are looking forward to another winning season during the ’78 campaign.

What’s in your closet? Let us know if you have something to share.

Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | August 25, 2019

Residence – Clothier – Confectioner – Butcher – Dog groomery

345 Fifth Street West
The building at 345 Fifth Street West near the n.e. corner of 5th and Cumberland Streets has witnessed a number of occupants in the past 90 or so years.

The 1933-34 City Directory lists it as a vacant store. In 1937, it is shown as two residential units.

This 1947 receipt indicates that A.J. Clouthier was selling clothing there prior to re-locating to lower Pitt Street.

By 1951, Alcide Vincent operated his grocery store there while living upstairs. By 1959 Vincent still owned the building, but Doug Hall operated a convenience store from the premises. By 1963, the confectionery was operating under the name of West End Handy Store and in 1971 it was Rick’s Handy Store, operated by Richard Hebert.

By 1973, it carried on business under the name of L. Gosselin Meat Market. Until 1985, it was sometimes marketed as Gosselin’s Meat Market, and sometimes as L. Gosselin Meat Market, as illustrated in this 1983 advertisement.

From 1986 until 1990, Rejeanne Leblanc and Janet Miseferi (who grew up in her parent’s home across the street) conducted business there under the name of Butcher’s Block. During 1989, Roger Perras moved in, operating his business as Butchers Meat Shop a.k.a. The Butcher’s Meat Market. After 1990 Roger became the sole business operator there until 1995 at which point the building sat vacant for a few years.

This 1991 photo illustrates that the business was also known as “Butch’s” Meat Shop,

as does this 1993 advertisement.

The Hounds of Cornwall dog groomery closed shortly after this photo was taken in 2018.

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