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 Gladstone 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). It’s one of the oldest neighbourhoods outside of the Square Mile and boasts of some 150 year old homes (in 2015). The above photo is from 1965.
Prior to current day (2015) 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:
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.
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. In 1920 the factory crossed the street, moving to the Square Mile one block south at 37 Cumberland. The Cornwall plant closed during World War II, but continued operations in two plants in Akwesasne until 1970. 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.
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.
In 1954 Clifford Shaver operated a confectionary store at 32 Seymour.
In the 1920s, Fawthrop Brothers advertised as being: “The West End Department Store.” As the business grew, the Second Street West store re-located to larger quarters. This ad is from a 1925 edition of The Freeholder.
This 1930s Directory ad shows the Fawthrop store on Second St W at Cumberland.
Later Styrotile Sales took over the location.
To the west of that store, just east of the church, was the Killarney Lodge motel at 418 2nd St. W. The former motel and office/residence buildings still stand (2017).
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 on 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.
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. The building has since been transformed into a popular family restaurant, although the original washrooms remain.
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