Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 8, 2017

Seaway Ginger Ale bottle, 1958 – 59.

A 30 fluid ounce bottle of Seaway Ginger Ale from the Friendly Retail Grocers aka FAG.  Extra Quality Dry.

Found at a local flea market in 1994.

Any further information would be welcome.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 7, 2017

Cadieux, Javel Water Bottle, Cornwall.

Here is a great piece of repurposed product.

A London Wine bottle, relabelled and hopefully refilled Javel Water Bottle, manufacture at 57 Alice St. North, Cornwall.

Any details would be appreciated.  It appears that this javex knock-off was made by the Cadieux family of Lorneville who had a connection with a local grocery store.

Donated in 2003.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 7, 2017

The Cats’ Christmas shopping expedition, Cornwall, part II

In 1953 Mary Ross-Ross (Lancaster) wrote:

One cold day about the middle of December Laddie (the dog) and the cats were warming themselves  around the kitchen stove.  Suddenly Laddie jumped up and said, “Good gracious, do you realize Christmas is nearly here and we haven’t done our shopping.”

Remember Christmas seals?   These examples are dated 1936.

“That’s right,” said Stop (cat).  “I’d better hurry and arrange about getting a school bus.”

“I’ve got a better idea,” said Laddie.  “That new car we got is much bigger  than the old one and I think I can persuade Mary to drive us all to Cornwall in it.”

“Hurray!” shouted all the cats, that will give us lots more money to spend.”

“Hurry!” said Pedal Pusher, “I’ll be able to ride on that bicycle at Mrs. Hall’s.”  And he raced round and round the kitchen squeaking “Ping, ping.”

Pedal Pusher, aged six.

Laddie arranged with Mary and away they went.  The cats all got in the back seat and Laddie sat in the front to show Mary the way.  When they got to Cornwall they drove into the lane beside Mrs. Hall’s shop.

Mary got out and went inside to ask if it would be convenient if she left the car there, and when she mentioned the dogs and cats were all up for their Christmas shopping, Ed went out to the car and brought them all in.

Alex Watson, Ed Primeau, Louis Primeau, Joe Dupuis and Ed Dupuis, Hall’s Cornwall, 1950s.

Salt and pepper held Pedal Pusher’s paw firmly because he was jumping up and down shouting, “Where’s the red tricycle, I want to ride the red tricycle.”

Salt and Pepper, aged six.

“Oh no you don’t,” said Stop.  “You came to do your Christmas shopping and that is what you are going to do first.”

So he was marched right through the shop, protesting at every step, and out of the door and up the street to Zellers.  After standing by to see that he did his shopping, which consisted of some lovely red handkerchiefs, the others left him and went on their errands.  Stop did his shopping in Zellers where he purchased a brown purse he intended to fill with gold coins.

Laddie hurried up the street to buy Philip a cushion for the car.  He complained that Philip always took his red pillow away from him to put behind his back when he was driving.

Salt went to Webers and bought Philip a calendar.1953 “Toronto Star” postcard calendar.

Jackie window shopped, as he had already done his shopping by mail, ordering lovely tweezers with a magnifying glass attached.

Pepper also strolled about looking in the windows waiting to return to Mrs. Hall’s to buy his present.

When they were all finished they hurried back to Mrs Hall’s to meet Mary.  Pedal Pusher had rushed back as quickly as he could and was riding round and round the store, his yellow headlight eye’s blazing, and shouting, “Red handkerchiefs, red handkerchiefs.”

Child’s “penny farthing” bicycle, made in the workshop owned by Alex Ross, circa 1900, donated by Miss Kathleen Alguire in 1958.

The customers had all taken refuge behind the counters and Gabe was running behind Pedal Pusher trying to catch him and save his red tricycle from disaster.

Salt and Pepper took in the situation in a moment and rushing forward they grabbed  the brooms from a display stand and threw up a barrier.

Pedal Pusher rushed into the barrier, somersaulted through it and landed in the window on a car of an electric train, which raced him round and round faster than ever.

“Toot! Toot!” he shouted.  “I’m an Engineer!”  This is a wonderful shop, it has everything!”  He contentedly rode round and round, while envious children gathered to watch him.

Order restored, Pepper asked Ed for the biggest waster paper basket he could find.

“Philip has a small one,: he explained, “but his aim is not very good, so I want one he can’t miss.”

Ed went back and found Pepper an extra large basket.  Completing his purchase he looked around for the others.

Alex had taken Laddie to the back of the store and was showing him some stories in a hardware magazine.

The staff at Hall’s Hardware.  Mrs. Hall, Alex Watson, Christina MacCrimmon, Edmund Dupuis and Ronnie Lagden.

Stop was snoozing on a chair and the others were purring at Mrs. Hall, so Pepper sidled up to Christina and starting making up to her.  Stout Feller caught sight of him and ran over and pushed him aside, saying, “Don’t take any notice of Pepper, he just wants petting,” and then he rubbed his own head against Christina’s arms so she had to pet both of them.

Just then Marry arrived, taking that as their cue to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, the animals scrambled back into the car.

“I’ll sit in the front again,” said Laddie, “and show Mary the way back home.”

And so another Christmas expedition was over.

YOU ARE INVITED TO A CHRISTMAS SING-ALONG complete with Mr. and Mrs. S. Claus and hot cider at the Cornwall Community Museum from 1 pm to 4 pm, Saturday December 16th.

Admission is free.

PS   If you are looking for a gift for local history buffs, the museum has a good selection of out of print histories, plus our recently published biography of Mary Mack, and THE LIVING RIVER – Secrets of the St. Lawrence, available at a discount this day only!

Info.  613 936-0280;





Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 7, 2017

Glengarry County postmarks and post offices.

Bridge End, Glengarry County, 1888.

The letter started out in Bridge End on Dec. 10, went to Glen Robertson  same day and arrived and then Cornwall the next day to arrive in Cashion’s Glen on the 11th.

The envelope was donated to the Museum in 1991.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 6, 2017

Lease from the British Chiefs to Martin Levac, St. Regis, 21st Oct., 1819.

This Indenture made this 21st day of October for the year of Our Lord 1891 Between the Principal Loyal British Chiefs of the St. Regis Tribe of Indians of the one part And Martin Levac pf Salmon River in the Province of Lower Canada Yeoman of the other part witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of one pound five shillings to those in hand paid by the said Martin Levac   The receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged as also of the rents covenants and agreements herein after contained and assignors to be paid and kept.  And by these presents Do Demise Grant and to farm let unto the said Martin Levac____his heirs  and assignors all that certain parcel of tract of Land being composed butting on, the river St. Lawrence, in a certain island lying west of Godmanchester Line of the Indian Reservation below Salmon River and in the Province of Lower Canada, consisting by admeasurement 30 acres of being more or less, together with appurtenances.  Their ___ etc there unto belonging .  Except and always, Excepting out of this Lease all Mill Seats, Mines of Gold Silver copper, Lead, tin, Iron Ore Coals and all other Minerals known to be Discovered on the said Premises.  To have and to hold the same with the appurtenances unto the said Martin Levac his heirs and assignors from the Day of the Date of these presents, for and during the full end and thereon of 99 years from thence next ensuing the paying therefor yearly and every year during the said term on the 1st day of February annually in each and every year the full sum of one pound five shilling the Cash to be paid and Delivered to the said principal Chiefs or their Agent, And the said Martin Levac______his heir or assignors shall pay or cause to be paid to the principal Cheifs their heirs, or successors the above mentioned yearly rent at the time above mentioned viz on the 1st day of Feb. Annually And in default thereof, of said rent not being paid as aforesaid Within ten

Days after the same shall become due.  The Principal Chiefs their Heirs or successors to be at full liberty to bake possession of said Lot and Premises herein Demised And Lease the same to whomsoever they may think proper, Without the Lot such Hindrance Molestation or Denial of him the said Martin Levac     his Heirs, or Assignors or any other person or persons Claiming or to Claim by from or under ____ thereon any or either of these.  And further that if the said Martin Levac     his Heirs or Assignors shall pay or cause to be paid, or fulfill this Lease by the annual rents as herein Stated The Said Principal Chiefs their Heirs or Successors, shall ___Expiration thereof renew the same to the said Martin Levac      his Heirs or Assignors for a further period or term of 99 years and so until the full End and ___of 1,000 years shall be completed the same Terms and Conditions of the present Leases.  Without Contradiction in anywise.  In Witness whereof the the practice aforesaid to these present have hereunto Set their Hands and Seals the Day and Year in this Indenture first above written.

Signed Sealed and                          signature’s six Chiefs with seals

Delivered in presence of Wm. McNarin, Isaac LeClair

Martin Levac   Isaac Soblais

A fascinating document, but unfortunately we only know what it says and nothing more.  Any insights would be appreciated!


The museum acquired this document in 2005.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 5, 2017

Egg grading scale, circa 1960.

Red and white sheet metal egg grading scale, impressed:

National Egg Grading Scale 30 ounces per dozen.

Used by a poultry farmer in Summerstown.

Donated to the Museum by Ransom Ledoux in 2007.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 5, 2017

Christmas in Cornwall and the Cornwall Community Museum.

The Christmas parade heading west down 2nd Street, across from the Cornwallis Hotel, mid 1970s.

On Saturday December 16th the Museum will be holding a Christmas sing-along complete with hot cider and Santa Claus.

For info for this free event call 613 936-0280 or

Charles Lant is on the right.

Winston Churchill on a World War II era Christmas card produced in Canada as part of the Canadian Artists Series.

The inside features a quote from Churchill and Season’s Greetings.

Along with the Christmas events, the Museum will also be holding a book sale of local out of print histories, such as the one above.

There is only one copy left of this book listing the careers of Doctors on 19th century Eastern Ontario.  Cost $10.

Another out of print title in our book room, available for your library.

Christmas postcard, 1907. NFS.

We still have copies of this terrific local history by Joan Levy-Earle.

The cover depicts Kyte’s well regarded Christmas window.

For one day only if you buy this book plus UNFORGOTTEN MARY MACK CORNWALL’S FIRST LADY, you can have pair for $40, a saving of $5 plus HST.

If you are interested in the Lost Villages and the St. Lawrence Seaway or river stories, this book is a must.

Another must have for local history buffs.  If Mary was still on Council, we would have an art gallery by now.  (we owe the Museum’s existence to her work.)

We also have Seaway Postal history and local postcards for collectors for sale, well below what you would pay for anywhere else.


Posted by: Media Manager | December 5, 2017

SaveMart then LaSalle Shopping Centre/Westcourt Mall

Back in the 1960’s SaveMart boasted of being Cornwall’s first sizable self-service shopping center, somewhat of a precursor to today’s WalMart.

It was situated on Vincent Massey Drive (the “new” Highway #2 West) near 13th Street West.The store included a number of departments, including a supermarket.

The facility also included a hairstylist and restaurant.In the 1970s the store was replaced by an expanded LaSalle Shopping Centre, which was more of a mall with a variety of tenants.

The Brookdale Mall to the south was already a going concern by then.

These 1976 newspaper advertisements provide a perspective on trends and prices at that time.

After a busy day of shopping, it is important to pause for a bite to eat.






Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 4, 2017

The Cat’s Christmas Shopping, Cornwall, 1952.

Christmas Postcard, 1908.

On Saturday December 16 you are invited to a free Christmas sing along at the Cornwall Community Museum.  Info:  613 936-0280 or

Cornwall’s Nativity Guard marching in one of our annual Christmas Parades.

Is that Arnold Fobert in the centre?

In 1952 Mary Ross-Ross of Lancaster took us on a trip down Pitt Street in THE CAT’S CHRISTMAS SHOPPING, which will appear in abridged form in three parts on this site.

One evening in December; Go (the cat) and Laddie were trotting down to the stable with Philip (human), when Go turned and gave Laddie a bat over the nose.

“Hi, know what’s coming old paddle paws?” He said.

“Bedtime” said Laddie, happily.

“Nonsense!” said Go.

“Don’t be so stupid.  Christmas is coming of course, and it’s time we thought about what to give Philip.  Those silly young cats can’t think of anything but red handkerchiefs and spend all their time whirling round and round squeaking We want red handkerchiefs, until I sometimes doubt that their politics are all that they should be, but we oldtimers must try and thin of something better than that.”

The fire department’s Mother Goose float in the 1968 Christmas Parade moving along Pitt St., 1968.  Tip Top Tailor, Legare Furniture and the Club Restaurant are all in view.

“OK,” said Lsddie.  “Hire the school bus and we’ll go to Cornwall and look in the shops.”

Stop and Go telephoned to Williamstown and found they could get a bus as soon as school closed, so on the Monday morning before Christmas a beautiful yellow bus drove to the door where the cats  were all waiting dressed in their best fur coats.  As soon as Jack and Jerry saw it they became all puffed up with pride because it was the same colour as their coats and they strutted up and down trying to look important, but Imp, Tweedledum and Little Sister lost no time scrambling in and sat as close to the drive as they could because they didn’t want to miss anything.

On the drive up the older cats and Laddie made their plans.  All the young cats along with Stop and Go were to go to the department store.  The young ones to buy their red handkerchiefs and Stop and Go to buy blue shirts.

Christmas 1956, Cornwall.

Maudie told them, “Philip always says I am a little old lady and wouldn’t do anything he wouldn’t do, so I am going to Webers to get him a nice calendar.  And I must go to an automobile store to buy him a scraper to remove the frost from his shield.”

Weber’s 106 Pitt St., ca. 1910.

When they arrived on Pitt St. they parked in front of Mrs. Hall’s.  Laddie got out first and put five cents in the meter and then they separated to do their shopping.  Maudie ran across the street to Weber’s, Laddie trotted off up Pitt St. with the rest to Zellers.

Outside Zellers there was a lovely rocking horse and Imp and Tweedledum jumped up and down and begged for a ride.  So before they went in Go put ten cents in the slot and the 2 black kittens climbed on the horse’s back and had a lovely ride.

The ride over, they entered the store – Stop and Go to the shirt counter and the others to look for handkerchiefs.  They bought nine and had them gift wrapped.

Leaving Zellers they passed Sergeant Dupuis issuing a parking ticket on their way back to the bus.  Back at Mrs. Hall’s they found Laddie leaning nonchalantly on a counter exchanging stories with Alex and Maudie discussing the best way to cook mice for Christmas, Mrs. Hall said “Go, We have been shopping for Philip.”

When the bus driver returned Stop and Go thanked Mrs. Hall for her hospitality and herded all the party into their seats.  The young cats were so tired they curled up and went to sleep, but Laddie sat beside the bus driver and told him what to do.  He had driven so much with Philip he thought he knew it all.  In spite of this they arrived home safely, well satisfied with their expedition.

Laddie the dog after a successful shopping in Cornwall.

Laddie was four years old at the time of this photograph.


As part of the event UNFORGOTTEN – the biography of Mary Mack and THE LIVING RIVER – secrets of the St. Lawrence, will be available for a combined price of $40, a saving of $5, minus HST.

Other out of print and hard to find local histories will also be on sale.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | December 4, 2017

Ope, two gallon Flack and Van Ardsdale Crock, Cornwall.

Museums share – this open two gallon crock by Cornwall’s Flack and Van Arsdale was recently given to us by the Brant County Museum in Brantford, as it did not fit their collection policy.

In the past year we have transferred or directed items to the Lost Villages Historical Society, the SD & G Highlander’s Regimental Museum and the Glengarry Archives.

The above tan bodied crock, is 30 cm tall, mouth dia. 18 cm and base, 21 1/2 cm.

It has an interior chocolate brown glaze.

Flack and Van Arsdale operated in Cornwall from 1868 until around 1907.  The Cornwall Pottery operated for a few years before them.

A second shorter example of a two gallon Cornwall crock with the same flower.

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