Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | December 22, 2015

Historic Cornwall – Beaconsfield

This area was part of Cornwall’s western gore, Lot 12 in the 1st Concession (163 acres), which was granted by the Crown to Timothy Johnston on February 22, 1806.  From Johnston it passed to George Haley on December 26, 1811. Haley in turn sold it to Henry Waggoner on March 8, 1815.  In his will, Henry passed it to Jacob Waggoner on October 25, 1832.  On July 7 of 1835, William Mattice purchased the land.  Subsequently that tract of land was split into smaller parcels, including Beaconsfield, which the elder Mattice willed to his son Corydon on August 25, 1881.

Beaconsfield was one of the early suburbs in the former Cornwall Township that became a Cornwall neighbourhood on January 1, 1957 when the City annexed much of the Township.  The name Beaconsfield no longer appears on Cornwall maps.


Originally Beaconsfield was bounded on the north by Second Street West, on the south by the Cornwall Canal, on the east by the Town Limits, the west side of Cumberland Street, on the west by Cornwall Township (Gregor Avenue, later re-named Brookdale Avenue). Gregor Avenue was named after one of William Mattice’s sons.  Beaconsfield is one of the oldest neighbourhoods outside of the Square Mile and boasts of some 150 year old homes (in 2019). The above photo is from 1965.

bridge looking east_12-H-0263

Prior to current day (2019) Brookdale Avenue, the first segment of what was to become that street was Gregor between Spruce Street (later renamed Water Street) and Second Street West.  In the early 1900s the segment near what is now Brookdale and Second Street was known as Wood’s Lane. Later, the segment of road between Second Street West and Fifth Street West was Brookdale.  Still later, Gregor became part of Brookdale which resulted in a renumbering of the buildings on Brookdale in order to start the sequence at Water Street West instead of Second Street West.

Some of the streets are named after trees, much like as was the case in Smithville. Both had a Hickory Street. After the Annexation, Beaconsfield’s Hickory Street became Maple Avenue.

Many of the early residents worked at nearby Canadian Cottons, Howard Smith Paper Mills Ltd and Stormont Cotton Mills.

Here is a depiction of Beaconsfield then and now:

Beaconsfield 1927 2015


This 1906 map indicates that Beaconsfield, Gladstone and Lorneville were established by that date, as was the Fair Grounds. Beaconsfield also appears on a map dated 14 December, 1881.


Lally Lacrosse Manufacturing Company on Cumberland Street

Champion lacrosse player Frank Lally retired from the game in 1889, and four years later opened his lacrosse stick factory in Beaconsfield. Lally Lacrosse Manufacturing Company was on the west side of Cumberland Street between present day Elm Street and Smith Lane as evidenced by the December 1916 Fire Insurance Plans. Frank’s brother Joe took over in 1903. In 1920 the factory crossed the street, moving to the Square Mile one block south at 37 Cumberland, sharing space with Lally Coal and Wood Co. All of the company’s sticks were manufactured by Native North Americans. Upon his retirement, Joe sold his equipment to the Chisholm Lacrosse Manufacturing Company. The Cornwall plant closed during World War II, but continued operations in two plants in Akwesasne until 1970. May 4, 1968 the Chisholm/Roundpoint lacrosse factory on Cornwall Island burned to the ground. The structure at 37 Cumberland still stands.

Wm A. Johnson ran a butcher shop at 36 Cumberland, and Chisholm Construction Company Limited operated at 116 Cumberland.

Lalonde Shar_1954 ph dir ad 2

This 1954 telephone advertisement shows that Claude Lalonde ran a sharpening service at 10 Pine.

In 1927 Dedier Dumond operated a billiard room at 12 Seymour and Helen Fraser operated a boarding house at 415 Spruce.

Howard Dennis Conf_CA Hockey Pgm 44-45In 1944 Howard Dennis operated a confectionery store at 32 1/2 Seymour; by 1954 Clifford Shaver had taken over. Ray and Mae Caron took over in the summer of 1965; continuing on until closing the business in 1977. During the Caron’s tenure, the store was the neighbourhood hangout where euchre and hearts were played practically daily on the ice cream machine. It’s proximity to the paper mill made it a popular spot for mill workers. The building has since been demolished.

Fawthrop Bros Cheese Board

Fawthrop Bros Gen Merchant from the History of the Cornwall Cheese & Butter Board

Arthur Fawthrop opened a grocery store in 1902 at 412 2nd St W.Fawthrop Groc_CA Hockey Pgm 44-45The owner placed this ad in a Cornwall Community Arena hockey program.

400 2nd St W_Fawthrop_Abram (Teddy) Fawthrop _ca 1935_died 1936_Ron FawthropIn 1925, Abram (Teddy) Fawthrop opened a department store on property to the east of the grocery at 400. Photo courtesy of Ron Fawthrop.

1Jan 08 1925TF-7

This ad is from a 1925 edition of The Freeholder reveals that the Fawthrop Brothers advertised as being: “The West End Department Store.”

scan0014This 1930’s Directory ad shows the Fawthrop store at 400 Second St W on the corner of  Cumberland. The retailer closed in 1931 due to the Great Depression.

400 2nd St W_Laroque_1931-07-02In July of 1932, Laroque advertised that they had taken over Fawthrop’s store.

2nd St W_410_National Grocers_1941-04-17National Grocers Co. Ltd. wholesale subsequently took up operation in the 400 Second Street West building; we see them listed in the 1933 through 1944 Directories.

2nd St W_410_National Grocers_1953-09-17The Museum has purchase receipts from NG at that location dating from 1941 through 1953.

styrotile_1996-03-crIn December of 1961, Styrotile Sales, which was then located at 4 Walter Street (in the former Township neighbourhood of Munro C.E.), announced a moving sale; they would soon take over that 400 2nd St W. location.

Fawthrops_2017-09-11 And a sporting goods store set up shop there more recently. This 2017 photo shows both locations that were once occupied by the Fawthrops; first the green building and later the large brick structure on the corner.

ad_1963 ca_Killarney MotelTo the west of Fawthrops’ first store, just east of the church, was the Killarney Lodge motel at 418 2nd St. W.

Killarney Lodge_2017-09-11The former Killarney motel and office/residence buildings still stand (2017).

Wolverine CAMERALooking east from the St. Francis de Sales Church parking lot, through the open porch on the former Killarney Lodge at 418, a small sign indicates the presence of the Licence Bureau at the former Fawthrop Grocery store at 412.

From Thom Cr

In the 1920s St. Columban Parish opened a mission chapel at the intersection of what is now Brookdale Avenue and Water Street to serve the growing needs of Beaconsfield as well as nearby Laflecheville and Smithville.The Catholic Women’s League at St. Columban, formed in February of 1921, took an active role in establishing that early chapel; it was their first project. In 1937 the chapel was replaced by the new parish of St. Francis de Sales at 434 Second Street West. This photo shows the original St. Francis rectory, the first church and the original neighbouring houses to the east. None of these buildings remain today.

Supertest 2nd Seymour_St Francis de Sales Cr

Immediately to the west of the parish rectory, on the s.e. corner of Second Street West and Seymour Avenue stood a Supertest Service Station.

Dixie Lee_ad_1976-05-12Then the structure became home to a Dixie Lee outlet as depicted in this 1976 advertisement.

CBBQ_2017-09-11The building at 436 Second Street West has since been transformed into a popular family restaurant, although the original washrooms remain.

514 2nd St W_Larry Keen Ins_Mirror 1974The house at 514 Second Street West was the offices of Larry Keen Insurance in the 1960s and 1970s.

514 2nd St W_Redmond Ins Br Ltd_1989_CD adRedmond Insurance later operated from there as illustrated by this 1989 advertisement.

To return to our main post on Historic Cornwall neighbourhoods, please follow this LINK.

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