Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | 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.

Aerials_1970-12_Blacksmith Shop_web

An arrow points to the former blacksmith shop still standing when this aerial photo was taken in December of 1970.

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.

Fibre Conduits Ltd_98_4_78 CR

Fibre Conduits Limited

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.



  1. I remember the blacksmith shop on Augustus street ….the 500 block near Fifth Street on the west side. Blacksmith was Cliff McAteer. He lived close by on Fifth St, with his sister. There was a little footbridge at the time on Augustus St. right near the blacksmith shop. As children, we used to do somersaults over the steel hitching post and watch the horses coming in. I wish I had a picture of that blacksmith shop.

    • Yes, there was a blacksmith shop on Augustus Street near 5th as well as on Pitt Street near 6th (79 Pitt, which was re-numbered as 517). The bridge there across Pitt severely overflowed on at least one occasion. The Pitt Street blacksmith was immediately east of Miller’s junk yard and is part of the TV Cogeco property today. The bridge is plainly shown on the 1916 and 1923 Fire Insurance maps.

  2. I have a blacksmiths hammer from the Augustus street blacksmith, my grandparents were given it when the shop closed down, they lived directly behind him on Burton ave.

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