Historic Cornwall – Eamer’s Corners

Today the neighbourhood of Eamer’s Corners is partly in the City of Cornwall and partly in the Township of South Stormont; the centre of Cornwall Centre Road / South Branch Roads is the boundary line, which is problematic for some. Cornwall Handi-Transit will make calls to addresses on the south side of the street only, yet a popular physio-therapy centre is located on the north side of the road.

The Eamers arrived in North America from Germany in 1755 and to the former Cornwall Township in 1784 as a result of the American Revolution. Eamer’s Corners was named after United Empire Loyalists Phillip Eamer and his son Peter who settled there on the land they were granted, Lots 9 and 10 of the 4th Concession in 1784. If the farm house stood today it would be in South Stormont.

Early derivatives of the Eamer name include Amer, Eamor. Emer and Wemer.

Historic businesses in Eamer’s Corners include the Johnson Hotel, owned by Margaret Johnson, and The Red Onion; both burned the same night in 1891.

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Ca. 1930 Walter Gravely opened a hot dog stand and sandwich shop, Walter’s Place, at the junction of what is now Pitt Street, South Branch Road and Cornwall Centre Road.

MacDonells Inn

By 1936 the MacDonell family were operating the stand. Car hops provided curb service.

MacDonell's Inn CR_WM

In the mid-1940s, the family kicked things up a notch with MacDonell’s Inn. The Inn became a popular banquet hall for weddings and other receptions.

Kathy (Coleman) Spink is pictured at MacDonell’s Inn dancing the Highland Fling at her wedding reception, accompanied by some of her students of the Kathy Coleman School of Dance (some of you younger people may know her as mom to the Spink brothers of local hockey fame.)

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New owners, Claire and the late John Bazil, came aboard in August of 1978, remaining with the Inn until 2003. Claire has kindly shared these images of their menus as well as a ticket for a New Year’s Eve party.

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Temperance Hall was located on the former Sam Snetsinger farm on the northwest corner across from S.S. 11 Public School. The school Christmas concerts took place there.

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The second school in the 1950s before expansions

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June, 1960 – former S.S. 11 School had become a Sunday School

S.S. 11 School was the original Eamer’s Corner’s two room school house around the corner from the present school on Pitt Street. It closed in 1952. In 1956 St. John’s Presbyterian Church purchased the building for use as a Sunday School.

The first post master was Mrs. M. McDonald. She was appointed on April 01, 1875 and resigned on October 17, 1885. William Irvine took over on February 26, 1886 and resigned on January 31, 1888. The next post office operated from Fred Lowell’s home. He was appointed on August 01, 1888 and remained at his post until the post office closed on December 27, 1914 with the advent of rural delivery.

Daniel Alguire operated a store. Cardinal-McNight Ltd operated a Surgas Service (ranges, water heaters, space heaters) in the 1960s, as did Zenith Electric Supply (Eastern) Ltd. A lime kiln operated on the former George Ross farm.

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May’s Fancy Cheese Factory – Cornwall Cheese & Butter Board photo

May’s Fancy Cheese Factory, located east of Eamer’s Corners, was named after John Brighton May, who first worked with cheese maker D.M. MacPherson before purchasing one of MacPherson’s factories to run as his own. Herman Kirkey took over from May ca. 1912, continuing with the May brand. Others ran the factory more recently.

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

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