Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 11, 2017

Cornwall and SD & G Local history book room.

Does your Dad like local history?

If so visit the Cornwall Community Museum’s local history book room, where you will find numerous out of print and current local histories.  The museum is open Wed. to Sun. 10 am to 4 pm.

Please note we do not take debit or credit cards.

The 1987 History of St. Andrew’s Williamstown, is just one sample of the many books we have for sale.

This illustrated history of Lionel Chevrier originally sold for $20, it is now available for $5.  French copies are also available.

This rare 1991 edition of the “round” church is available for $10.

Cornwall – “The Friendly Town that Grew”, original price $3.25 now $2.00.

This book about ghosts has a Cornwall connection through fur trader John Macdonald of Garth.  Signed by the author R.S. Lambert, this hardcover copy is available for $15.

All books may be ordered by mail, just send your address and I will provide a quote for the postage.  Payment must be made with all orders.

For questions email:

Posted by: Media Manager | June 11, 2017

Canadian National Express – Cornwall Staff (1962)

Today we feature another gem from the photographs recently donated by Harry Bowman. This was the Cornwall staff of the former Canadian National Express office at the head of Sydney Street (Sydney ended at 9th Street in those days.) The photo was taken on January 27 of 1962.

1st Row (l to r): Wendel MacDermid, Walter Taylor, James Alguire, Richard Bowman

2nd Row (l to r): John MacRae, Jut Lalonde, Merril Muir, Charles Villeneuve, Rex Ezard, Lawrence Marleau, Dwayne MacRae, Percy Carter, Joe Parisien

Do you have old Cornwall area photos to share with our viewers? If so, please contact us at your Cornwall Community Museum and Archives in person, by phone or by e-mail at .


Posted by: Media Manager | June 9, 2017

West Front Public School – late 1940s

Harry Bowman stopped by the Museum and Archives today with some great old photos. Among them were these class photos from when he and his brother attended West Front Public School (originally School Section No. 2). Who do you recognize in these photos?

This was Mrs. Carpenter’s class in May of 1947.

Here we have Miss Kennedy’s class, also in May of 1947.

These final two photos are from 1951.

Front row (l to r): Clare Bowman, Douglas Bergeron, Austin Alguire, Gerald Walsh, John McCarroll, Dale Stewart, Danny Wheeler, Wayne Morgan
Others include: Mr. Blair, Leo Hanton, Lois Stuart, Billy Payment, Doreen C., Howard Smith, Harry Jarrett, Hugh M., Michael J., Thomas B., Michael R.

For more great photos from the former West Front area, please click on this LINK.

Do you have photographs from Cornwall’s past? Why not share them with our fans. Stop by the Museum; call or e-mail us at .

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 9, 2017

Fort Augustus Cornwall aka Windmill Fort Cornwall.

Cornwall’s Windmill Fort, photograph for the Toronto “Globe,” 1893.

Originally a windmill, located in Cornwall’s east end, it was converted into a Martello Tower and armed with a small cannon in 1838.

A daybook from the fort names it Fort Augustus.

The history of the Fort and local militia is provided in this booklet by historian Stuart Manson, at the museum for $5.






Watercolour of Fort Augustus by Earl Poole.

The fort was a favourite subject for Cornwall artists.





This World War II era photograph shows the Fort on a float in a parade. (probably a War Savings Bond Parade.)



The Fort was donated to Cornwall Township to be maintained as a public park in 1929.  Unfortunately it was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair and it was demolished in 1944.

This photograph shows it during its last years.

The history of the Fort, plus that of the Capitol Theatre, the Cline House, Chesley’s Inn, the Cornwall Canal, the Canada Cotton Mill and other local landmarks are outlined in this publication by the Cornwall Local Architectural Advisory Committee aka Heritage Cornwall.

The museum has one copy of this invaluable resource available in or used book room for only $5.

Fort Augustus / the Windmill Fort was located in the former Cornwall Township neighbourhood of Riverview. Click on this LINK for more photos and information on the fort as well as other places within historic Riverview.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 7, 2017

Was your family living in Mille Roches at the time of Confederation?

A pre World War I postcard showing the swing bridge at Mille Roches, Ontario.




The posts listing prominent families in Cornwall at the time of Confederation made me think readers might enjoy a list of the prominent families in Mille Roches in 1869.  Remember that the list is not complete and that you had to pay to be in the Directory like the telephone book today.

From the Anderson Directory of Ontario, 1869.

MILLE ROCHES – A Village on the Long Sault, or Cornwall Canal, and Station of the Grand Trunk Railway, in the Township of Cornwall, County Stormont, 6 miles for Cornwall, the County Town, and 261 from Toronto.  Money order office.

Population 450.

Andrews, Rev. W. (Wesleyan),
Annable, Hiram, farmer,
Armstrong, James, farmer,
Bisbee, S.W., cabinet maker,
Cutler, Guy, wagon maker,

A  late 19th century stereoscope photograph of Mille Roches.



Derousie, Louis, general merchant,
Frank, Martin, cooper,
Gravity, John, farmer,
Harrison, Henry, general merchant,
Kegar, (Kezar?) W., general merchant,

T.W. and A.A. Carpenter acquired Kezar’s business around 1898.

The 1901 “Freeholder” notes:  “No place is better known along the front than this store, at which a large proportion of the people of Cornwall Township do their trading, and under the new management the patronage has steadily increased until it has assumed proportions which many a larger place might envy.”

“The Messrs. Carpenters are natives of Mille Roches, and popular young men, with a thorough knowledge of the requirements of the locality, and their enterprise and up to date methods have so far been rewarded beyond their most sanguine expectations, so much so that their present premises are entirely too small and will be enlarged and remodeled in the near future.  The average country shop is in its way a departmental store, and the stock carried by the Messrs. Carpenter is unusually large and varied, including dry-goods, groceries, boots and shoes, crockery, hardware, paints and oils, harness, etc; in fact there is hardly any article in use by the ordinary householder that they cannot supply or procure on very short notice”

…the story continues, but back to the directory.

McConnell, Hugh, tailor,
McDonald, D.D., carpenter,
McNairn, Elisha, farmer,
McRea, Duncan, general merchant,
Marsh, John, farmer,
Moss, S.H., postmaster,
Mendoch, Alexander, shoemaker,
Phillips, H.G., proprietor Travelers Home Hotel,
Prosser, W.O., teacher,

G.F. Harvey Co., Mille Roches.  Built 1896. aka Bennett and Messecher’s.


Robertson, Theodore and James, proprietors flouring and saw mills,

Tax Bill for George Robertson, 1873.




Roys, Evan, farmer,
Roys, William, farmer,
Roys, William A., farmer,
Snetsinger, J.G., general merchant
Tait, David, J.P., farmer,
Tait, Mary M., general merchant
Tilton, Joseph, senior, farmer,
Wood, William, D., proprietor saw and flouring mills,
Wood, W.D. & J., manufacturers of woolen goods.

Grand Trunk Railway Station, Mille Roches.







“No Road Back” by Donald Stuart is just one of the many local history books for sale at the Cornwall Community Museum, price $5.00







The museum also has a used copy of Leonard O’Dette’s fascinating history of Dickinson Landing for only $5.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 6, 2017

Was your family in Cornwall in 1867, part III.

A pre World War I cabinet photograph by Thomas Lafleur.

Many people think that Lafleur was French-Canadian, he was acutally the son of an Ulsterman, who married a French-Canadian woman in Montreal.

This photograph shows the creeping militarism in pre Western culture with the boy dressed as a cadet, likely at Central.


A viewer asked where are the French names in these lists?

It should be pointed out that at Confederation Cornwall’s French speaking population was not large.  Growth did not occur for another few years until the expansion of the cotton mills.

In 1861 the Census shows that Cornwall had 1,915 people, and only 11 said that they were from Quebec, a number that is likely too low as there were 669 Roman Catholics in town.

A decade later Cornwall had 2,033 people:  1,457 English speaking; 1,086 French-Canadians.

In 1881, there were 1,323 French-Canadians in Cornwall out of a total of 4,468.

Unfortunately the Dominion Directory of 1869 used to list the names of people living in Cornwall only names those people that subscribed to it, leaving out the majority of local families and highlighting politicians, lawyers, government employees and business people.

Finally, many French-Canadians lived next to the factories they worked at in Cornwall Township, meaning that they would not be included in the Cornwall Census.

Dominion Directory, 1869, Cornwall:

Rattray, Charles, M.D.,
Robishaw, Oliver, baker,
Ross, A. P., carriage-maker,
Ross, Gordon, mason,
Ross, William, barrister,
Skeith, J., druggist,
Skeith, John, stoves and tinware,

Photo., ca. 1890.





Smary, John, steamboat agent,
Smith, Daniel, M.D.,
Smith, William, carriage maker,
Smythe, Robert, shoemaker,
Snetsinger, John, builder,
Styles, Homer, blacksmith,
Sullivan, Daniel, painter,

DID YOU KNOW that the local French-Canadian priests would often change the Irish name Sullivan into Sylvain?

Uncle Joe Markell, Cornwall







Talbot, Angus, carpenter,
Talbot, John, carpenter,
The Freeholder, (weekly), Alexander McLean, editor and prop.
Turner, N., hardware,
Urquhart, Rev. Hugh, D.D. (Presbyterian),

A carte-de-visite by Cornwall photographer Henry Weber, of the Rev. H. Urquhart.






Van Alstine, John, baker,
Wagner, Adam, innkeeper,
Wagner, William, J., watchmaker and jeweler,
Warrington, William, proprietor, Farmer’s Hotel,
Warwick, John, manager, Cornwall Manufacturing Co.,
Wegeant, R.G., dentist,
Weber, H.W., photographer,
Wildon, Thomas, tailor,
Wilson, D., baker and grocer,
Wood, George, C., postmaster and Registrar County Stormont,
Worsley, John shoemaker.

Starting July 1st, 2017 the Museum will feature an exhibit covering Cornwall from 1867 to 2017.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 6, 2017

Smuggling Cornwall Style, War of 1812.

Smuggling has been part of Cornwall’s history from the start.

It was a two way street, and during the War of 1812, an American Major even visited Cornwall to sell cattle to the opposing British Army!

This and other stories about Cornwall and the War of 1812 are found in the Museum publication of the same name, available at the museum only for $10.

British Army surgeon “Tiger” Dunlop noted while staying in Cornwall:

…a good-looking, middle-aged man, (Yankee) dressed a blue something that might have been a cross between a surtout and a great coat…was invited to sit down, (Shamrock and Thistle tavern Cornwall) and fill his glass, when the following dialogue took place.

Yankee. – I’,m Major_____ of Vermont State, and I would like to speak to the Colonel (“Red” George MacDonell, Glengarry Fencibles) in private, I guess, on particular business.

Colonel. – Anything you may have to say to me Sir, may be said with perfect safety in presence of this gentleman.

Major. – I’m a little in the smuggling line, I reckon.

Colonel. – Aye, and pray what have your smuggled?

Major. – Kettle, (cattle), I reckon.  I heered that the Col. wanted some very bad, so I just brought a hundred on ’em across at St. Regis, as fine critters, Col., as ever had hair on ’em.  So I drove them right up; the Col. can look at ‘e, hisself – they are right at the door here.

Colonel. – Well, what price do you ask for them?

Major. – Well Col. I expect about the same as other folks get, I conclude.

Colonel. – This is but reasonable, and you shall have it.


Along with publications printed at the museum, we also have a number of out of print local histories for sale.  One of the best is HORSE AND BUGGY DAYS IN MARTINTOWN, 1900 – 1940, by Rhodes Grant.

Our single signed copy is available to the first buyer for only $20.

Posted by: Media Manager | June 5, 2017

Canada at 150 – A Celebration of Thanksgiving

As an official event within the local Canada 150 series of year-long celebrations, the Cornwall & Area Christian Council presented an ecumenical service of praise and worship the evening of Sunday, June 4 at St. John’s Presbyterian Church.

The well-attended event drew participants of many denominational stripes from across the district. The two hour-long uplifting celebration included music (lots and lots of music), sacred Scripture, exhortation, repentance and proclamation.

Monsignor Rejean Lebrun, an officially retired Catholic priest, led the call to worship. Clergy from different denominations took up other roles.

Leading the musical portions of the evening were the Cornwall Celebration Choir, the Salvation Army Ottawa Citadel Songsters, the Salvation Army Legacy Chorus, the Salvation Army Legacy Brass and the Montreal Citadel.

Reverend Lois Gaudet from the Avonmore, Finch and Martintown United Churches provided a Pentecost-themed meditation on power, vision and presence.





A choir from the St. Regis Catholic Mission, dressed in traditional attire, led the assembly in a prayer sequence, which included a time of purification, thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer in Mohawk.



A reception in Caldwell Hall followed the celebration, during which time your Cornwall Community Museum and Archives provided a photographic exhibit of historic Cornwall Churches, illustrating that the Christian community played a pivotal role not only since Confederation, but since Cornwall and the Counties’ very foundation. Indeed, the first social service agencies, such as orphanages, the Hotel Dieu Hospital, an old people’s home, and the original house of refuge on Water street were launched by members of the Christian community.

Our weekly Canada 150 series continues in the Standard-Freeholder each Thursday.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 4, 2017

Was your family in Cornwall in 1867? Part II


A 19th century studio photo of a Cornwall lad dressed in Highland garb.

From the 1869, “Dominion Directory” for Cornwall.

Lewis, John, barber,
Littlefield, Mrs. Mary, billiard Room,
Lonney, John, blacksmith,
Lynch, Rev. Michael, (Roman Catholic),
Lynskey, Thomas, agent, Grand Trunk Railway,
McArthurm A.A. grocer,
McCracken, David, butcher,
McDonald, Alexander, cabinet maker,
McDonald, R., County Treasurer, Clerk County Court and Deputy Clerk Crown and Pleas,
McDonell, Angus, coroner,
McDonell, G. & D.,  general merchants,
McDonell, J.A., tailor,
McDougall, Alexander, dry good and crockery,
McDougall, John S., boots, shoes, harness and leather dealer,

A 19th century cabinet photo by H.W. Weber, Cornwall.

Photographer, Henry William Weber, 1866 – 1887.

Weber’s photographic studio was located opposite the Ottawa Hotel on Pitt in 1866.  At various times Weber was located in the rear of Pringle and Hawkes Drug Store and the 1st door north of Pringle’s drug store.  In 1884, Weber moved to 106 Pitt.  Weber sold his photographic business to his brother-in-law Nathan Moore in 1887 and became a stationer.

If you are interested in the history of photography locally, the Cornwall Community Museum has one copy left of PHOTOGRAPHERS OF EASTERN ONTARIO, CA. 1862 TO WORLD WAR 1, for $10, at the museum only.

If you are interested in books on local history, the Museum is the place to go, with numerous out-of-print and current titles available, below retail and used book store prices.

Back to the 1869 Directory,

McEniry, Michael, Railway Hotel,
McFarlane, Arch & Co., general merchants,
McIntosh, J.A., insurance and general agent,
McIntyre, D.E. sheriff,
McLean, Alexander, editor and proprietor of the “Freeholder.”

“Freeholder” letterhead, 1876.  The proprietor is now H. Sandfield MacDonald (John Sandfield’s son) is now the proprietor.

A Cornwall man by Weber, ca. 1880.

Back to the 1869 Directory of names,

McLean, Neil, insurance agent,
McLennan, Duncan, jailer,
McLennan, John B., (McDonald & McLennan),
McMahon, D. & Co., harness maker,
McMillan, D. & Co., general merchants,
McPhaul, Angus, general merchant,
McPhee, John, tin and hardware,
MacDonald, Hon. J. Sandfield, QC., MP., MPP., (McDonald & McLennan)

Back to the Directory of names, 1869,
Macdonald, R., MD.,
Macdonald & McLennan (Hon. J. Sandfield Macdonald, QC., and John B. McLennan), barrister,
Macdonell, D.A., general merchant,
Macdonald R.G., forwarder and grain merchant, GTR,
Mack, William, flouring and grist mills,
Martin, P.B., paper manufacturing,

1869 Directory,

Mattice, William & Sons (William Mattice, C.J. Mattice and Gregor Mattice, general merchants,
Mea, T.M., tailor,
Meyers, James, mason,
Miller, Donald, brick manufacturer,
Morsell, John, prop. foundry,
Munro, Duncan,
Ottawa Hotel, Thomas Dunkin, prop.,
Park, William, M., watchmaker,
Patton, Very Rev., J., D.D. (Church of England),

A carte-de-visit photograph of Rev. Patton by Weber.

Phelan, J.A., collector of canal tolls,
Pollock, Samuel, chief constable,
Portous, A. photographer.  In business ca. 1869 to ca. 1886.
Poole Charles, clerk, Division Court,
Pringle & Hawkes, (George Pringle, MD & James Hawkes, druggists,
Pringle, Jacob, assistant judge County Court.

A cabinet photograph of 4 Victorian women, by J.A. Noel, 1893 – circa 1906.







Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 3, 2017

Was your family in Cornwall in 1867?

The Class of 1903, Cornwall.

Left to right, top:  John R. Connolly, Tom Dunkin, Harold Ross, Austin L. Cumming, John S. Leitch, Clarence Ross.

Left to right, bottom:  Bert M. Mown, A. Ross Alguire, Aubrey G. Poole.

To mark Canada’s 150th birthday, the Cornwall Community Museum will be high-lighting Cornwall’s achievements since Confederation.

As part of this exhibit we will feature photographs of your ancestors, some known and others not yet identified.

Was your family here 150 years ago?

The 1869 “Dominion of Canada Gazetteer and Directory” provides the best, but unfortunately comprehensive list of the town’s citizens.

The Directory says that “CORNWALL – A Town on the St. Lawrence, and Grand Trunk Railroad, in the Township of Cornwall, County Stormont.  It is the chief Town of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.  Distance from Montreal 68 miles, from Toronto 265.  Money Order Office and Savings Bank.  Population 2,000.

Here are some of the names:
Adams, P.E ., baker and grocer,
Allan, William C., M.D.,
Atchison, William & Co., proprietors steamer British America,
Austin, Rev. Henry, (Church of England),
Bailey, J., general merchant,
Bank of Montreal, James Cox, Agent; Evelyn Vardon, accountant,The Cornwall branch of the Bank of Montreal issued its own special $1 bill, in 1859.

Bartley, Henry, grocery,
Bergin, D., M.D.,         Dr. Darby Bergin, below.

Bergin, J. solicitor, Insurance Agent and Master in Chancery,
Bethune, Angus, flour and grist mill,
Bethune, James, barrister, Clerk of the Peace, and County Attorney,
Bethune, W. solicitor,
Bradbury, J.L., principal grammar school,
Broderick, John, proprietor International Hotel,
Bullock, R.K., Collector Customs,
Butler, J.R., watchmaker

Photo by the R. Douglas Studio, Cornwall, studio – Marlborough St., 1904 – 1920.

Robert Douglas was born in Cornwall in 1878.  He spent four years learning the art of photography in Lowell Mass., and then returned to Cornwall to open a photographic studio, first in the McIntyre and Campbell Block on Pitt, where his business expanded to the point that he was “…forced to seek larger quarters and recently removed to Marlborough St., near Water St., where he has a large and well fitted studio.”  (Cornwall Old Boys’ Reunion, 1906.)

Douglas married Mabel Tilton , and the couple emigrated to Lowell, Mass., in 1930.  He died in Florida in 1973.

Back to the 1869 Directory:

Caldwell, A.E., iron founder,
Callaghan, Owen, blacksmith,
Carpenter, David, livery,
Carpenter, George, blacksmith,
Chisholm, William, attorney-at-law,
Cline, William, general merchant,
Cornwall Woolen Manufacturing Co., E.M. Hopkins, Pres., George Stephen, V.P., John Warwick, Manager, James P. Watson, Sec.
Cox, James, agent Bank of Montreal,
Craig, James, MPP,
Vushman, J.W., watchmaker and jeweler,
Darois, Peter, hairdresser,
Davy, John shoemaker,
Dennany, John, innkeeper,
Dennison, Joseph, ashery and grocery,
Dickinson, J.J., M.D.,
Dingwall, James, barrister,
Dixon, Rev. James, (Wesleyan)

Dunkin, Thomas, proprietor Ottawa Hotel,
Duncan, William, livery,
Flack & Van Arsdale, (D.A. Flack & Isaac H. Van Arsdale) stone ware manufacturers,

A Cornwall Edwardian gentleman by R. Douglas, ca. 1910.

1869 Directory:

Gallinger, William, blacksmith,
Gilley, James & Sons, blacksmiths,
Gilley, Peter, blacksmith,
Hepburn,  H. proprietor, Commercial Hotel.

As this letter paper shows, Hepburn had been replaced by J.D. McDonald as proprietor of the hotel by 1877,

1869 Directory,

Hessell, William, butcher,
Heudebourck, W.H. Rev. (Presbyterian),
Hill, William, general merchant,
Hodge, Andrew, flour and grist mills,
Hollister, W.G., agent Montreal Telegraph Co.,
Hunter, John, tinsmith,
Irons, William, painter,
Irving, James, carriage maker,
Jarvis, George S., County Court Judge,
Johnston, James, C., builder,
Joyce, Miss Margaret, confectionery and fancy goods,
Kewin Edwin, general merchant,
Kilgour, J. & Son, general merchant (J. Kilgour and James Kilgour),
Kissock, James,marble works.

  Another fine upstanding Cornwall couple.




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Cornwall Industry

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In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada